October 22, 2020
We hope your family is keeping safe and healthy. We're writing today with an update on an important precaution we are taking to keep you, your child, and your child’s educators safe: COVID-19 random testing for staff and students, here in school.
You recently received a letter from the New York City Department of Education (DOE), NYC Department of Health (DOH), and NYC Test & Trace Corps describing a joint effort to conduct COVID-19 testing in our public schools. This letter can be found at schools.nyc.gov/messagesforfamilies. The State of New York has determined that our school is located in a geographic zone, the “yellow zone,” that requires weekly testing due to elevated rates of transmission in the area. Weekly testing of students and staff is mandatory for schools in the yellow zone, and will continue until the State modifies or lifts the zone requirements. You can find a map of the City’s zones at nyc.gov/covidzone.
Mandatory in-school testing will be conducted for school staff and students in grades 1-12. The test is easy, quick, and safe. Thousands of students have already been tested across the city. A “short swab” (similar to a Q-tip) will be inserted into the front part of the nose for five to ten seconds. Later this school year, it is possible that tests will be administered by collecting a small amount of saliva (spit).
In order to test your child, we need your consent. There are two easy ways to provide consent. Please note that even if you previously provided consent, as a parent at a state-designated Yellow Zone school, we ask you to resubmit the consent form for your child, as the consent form accounts for the newly-established mandate from the State requiring weekly testing in our school. Whether you have filled out a form previously, or if you have not yet filled out a form, please use these easy methods to provide consent:
- Online: Fill out the form online using a New York City Schools Account (NYCSA). Go to mystudent.nyc.
- If you already have a NYCSA account linked to your student(s): Log in, click your student’s name, click “Manage Account,” and then when a dropdown menu appears, click “Consent Forms.” Read the page, and then choose the consent option at the end for your student.
- If you do not already have a NYCSA account: You can create one right away! If you have an account creation code from your school, you can create a full account in approximately five minutes, and then provide consent as described above. If you do not have an account creation code from your school, you can still provide your consent right away by clicking “Manage Consent” under “COVID-19 Testing” and filling out your and your child’s information to provide consent.
- Paper Form: Fill out and return the paper form to school. We have included the updated consent form with this letter. Your school can print and provide this form to you, or you can print it at home and send in with your child on their next in-person blended learning day. A printable PDF file is available in ten languages at schools.nyc.gov/covidtesting.
Here are some important notes for your awareness. You can find additional information under Frequently Asked Questions at schools.nyc.gov/covidtesting.
- A random selection of students and staff will be tested each week, so if your child is selected one week, they may or may not also be tested the following week.
- If your child is tested at school, information about the testing process, and when and how you will receive the results, will be sent home with your child. Most testing results will be available within 48 hours.
- Please be assured that, even after we receive your consent, your child will not be tested if they are uncomfortable or become distressed at any point during the process. If that happens, we will work with you to address any potential concerns so that your child is comfortable participating in future testing.
- If your child tests positive for COVID-19, you will receive two phone calls. The testing provider will notify you via a telephone call, and NYC Test & Trace Corps will call to provide your family with resources and support.
If any member of the school community tests positive during this testing process, our school community will continue to follow the guidelines outlined on the Health & Safety section of the DOE website (schools.nyc.gov/RTShealthsafety).
We deeply appreciate your partnership and your commitment to keeping our school community safe and healthy.
Maspeth High School