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An Important Update: COVID-19 Testing Procedures

Dear E.L. Haynes Families,

We are so proud of the work our team has done to keep all of us safe as we welcomed everyone back into our buildings this year. Since early August, we have had only five confirmed COVID-19 cases, and no confirmed community spread in our buildings. As we continue to test 10% of students weekly, we want to provide you with some updated information on how everything is going, and provide some revised guidelines to help make sure all of our students have access to learning.

Our Testing Program
As a reminder, E.L. Haynes conducts weekly asymptomatic (surveillance) testing of all unvaccinated staff and 10% of students from each campus. These tests take place on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays. Families may opt out of participating in the random asymptomatic program by contacting their school’s front office. Opt-outs are updated at the end of each week, and cannot be requested after the weekly testing list is generated on Monday mornings.

If your student is fully vaccinated, please send a copy of their vaccination card to your school’s receptionist. The receptionists will record the date of full vaccination and upload a copy of the card to your student’s file.

Quarantine and Its Impact
Since the start of school, nearly 100 students have been evaluated, recommended for COVID-19 testing, and stayed home while awaiting their results. Of those students, we have had zero positive COVID-19 cases stemming from our procedures, and these students have missed critical learning and community-building time during the start of the school year. Because of this, we have updated our quarantine and symptom evaluation process.

Symptom Evaluation and Rapid Testing
A  wide range of symptoms are associated with COVID-19, and as our 2021-2022 Health and Safety Guidelines (EnglishSpanish) outline, when students experience one red-flag symptom or two or more other symptoms, we must take appropriate action. Beginning Monday, October 4, we will now use this process for efficiently evaluating student symptoms, and we will now use rapid COVID-19 antigen tests conducted on site by one of our healthcare providers as an additional tool in evaluating students. This will always be in conjunction with a PCR test.

In March 2020, we established guiding principles for how we make decisions, two of which were Championing Health and Safety and Protecting Our Mission. We believe this process will help to prioritize the health and safety of our community, and make sure that our students have full access to in-person learning. If you have any questions or concerns about the policy, reach out to Kristin Yochum.

Hilary Darilek
Chief Executive Officer

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