Dec. 31 update: Test kits, Test to Stay, isolation

December 31, 2021

Dear Stillwater Families,

I am writing to extend my wishes for a happy (happier) New Year and to update you on testing availability for your students. As you may have seen, there is quite a lot of information on the news about test kits made available to you for your children, Test to Stay programs, and the reduction of isolation periods from ten to five days for individuals who test positive.

We anticipate a limited number of rapid antigen test kits (based on our enrollment) to be delivered to our WSWHE BOCES this weekend. Once they are received by BOCES, they will be made available to districts; we will send a courier to collect them as soon as we are notified. These tests will be used to provide students the opportunity to Test to Stay if they are under quarantine. Up to this point, students have had to miss direct, in-person instruction if they were placed under a Department of Health quarantine. Once we receive the tests from BOCES, we will be able to provide students the ability to stay in school as long as they have no symptoms and test negative with parent permission.

Ideally, the majority of the tests made available to our district will be used for Test to Stay, however, in the event that families would like to secure a screening test for their asymptomatic SCSD child(ren), we will put a system in place for families to obtain them. These tests will be made available for screening purposes only; they cannot be used for at-home diagnostic testing of symptomatic students.

The Test to Stay pilot performed by the South Glens Falls School District was highly successful, providing the ability for asymptomatic students to remain in school through their quarantine period. We are thrilled that we will soon be able to offer the program at Stillwater. For your child(ren) to participate if under quarantine, it is essential that we have parental consent on file. These forms were sent home with students in November. You also can download the parent consent form.

Finally, Saratoga County is following the CDC recommendation of a reduced isolation period for positive individuals. Information on reduced isolation periods can be found here. Our district will work with Saratoga County and individuals who can now exit isolation after five days, if asymptomatic.

If your child has been placed in isolation due to a positive COVID-19 test result, please notify your building principal so that he/she can arrange for instruction. Your principal will also assist you in evaluating your child’s isolation period based on the new CDC guidance and work with DOH to get positive, asymptomatic students back in school once the new isolation period has been completed.

Thank you for your continued support and cooperation. I will provide an immediate update as soon as the tests are secured.

Patricia Morris
Superintendent of Schools