Covid Updates

Covid Update (At Home Testing) - 1/6/2022

We appreciate the email responses back from yesterday's updates and as promised here is today's update on the At-Home Testing Kits that will be coming home with your children tomorrow. If for any reason your child will NOT be in school tomorrow please feel free to stop by the HS or EL school offices to receive the kits for your family. If transportation is a problem, we can also send them home with a neighbor etc. whatever you prefer so you get them. 

Below you will see the instructions and reasoning for the at-home kits and a VIDEO created by our nurses, on how to prep, give, and read the test (feel free to watch the video a few times before the Monday morning test). 

As has been reported in the media, New York State has made thousands of at-home COVID-19 test kits available to schools statewide. These test kits were delivered to our local BOCES over the weekend and have now been distributed to each of our schools.

The purpose of these tests is to monitor the spread of COVID-19 within our community as part of the ongoing effort to keep our school buildings open for in-person instruction. Tests can be utilized whether or not a student is exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19; so we will be sending kits home with ALL students unless you email our nurses to say you do not want them. 

State and local health officials are providing these tests as a resource to schools and families. Our plan is that these tests (two tests per box) will be distributed to students and brought home from school on Friday, January 7th. We are asking that parents conduct one of these tests on their students prior to sending them to school on the morning of Monday, January 10th. You may utilize the second test at your discretion (for example, if you or your student begins showing symptoms of COVID-19).

Please note that any positive test results from an at-home test must be reported to the local health department and to your school nurse. You do not need to report test results obtained elsewhere, and you do not need to report negative test results. 

To report your results, fill out the online form found on the St. Lawrence County Public Health Department (SLCPHD) website. For additional information on reporting positive at-home test results, please see the attached document from St. Lawrence County Public Health. 

Please remember that if your child has a symptom of COVID-19, they should be tested at home using a rapid test, or at a clinic, doctor’s office or a testing site. Anyone with a positive test result should isolate and contact St. Lawrence County Public Health. For more information on testing, quarantine, and isolation please visit https://www.stlawco.org/Departments/PublicHealth/COVID-19.

For instructions on how to administer the at home test, please view our Covid-19 Rapid Test Instructions Video.

Thank you for your continued partnership as we work to keep our students in school. If you have any questions or concerns about COVID-19 testing or other health and safety protocols, please do not hesitate to call either of our school nurses:

Ms. Hallahan (ext. 29104) challahan@bfcsd.org  or  Mrs. Tuper (ext. 29377)  atuper@bfcsd.org 

FYI: We did have a few teachers in the MS go home with positive Covid tests today, but we still feel we are in good shape to have school "as normal" tomorrow. Please know that next Monday's school day could be hectic, to say the least, as we try and get a handle on how our entire student population is doing. Please remember that if a child tests positive Monday morning, do not be alarmed, but be sure to follow the above instructions on how to contact Public Health and email your child's nurse.  

Fingers crossed, we get through this next "wave" and keep our doors open to continue in person instruction. With your help, we will make it happen so that your children are in the safest and best educational environment they can be in!

Again, we thank you for your continued partnership with us through these crazy times.

Covid Update - 1/5/2022

This past week many of you have been hearing news about all sorts of possible changes to our current NYS Covid protocols and testing in public schools. I appreciate your patience and trust in knowing that we would update you as soon as we could. After two long Zoom meetings (Monday and today) with other superintendents and Public Health Officials we have come to one definite conclusion: be ready for changes, more changes, and even more changes over the next few weeks.   Not really helpful, but I am going to lay out the short version of the updates and some "fine print" items you have most likely NOT heard in the news.  

1. Test to Stay (TTS) for Unvaccinated Students

   Our local Public Health has come out saying they are in support of this.

   * This program has been offered by NYS, but must be agreed upon by each county individually first. From there, every school within the county must then agree to do it before it can be offered at all. 

   * NYS says each school must first propose a school policy, on TTS, to its Board of Education before the program can begin. Currently our BOE must see a policy reading two times (two separate meetings) before they can act on it. This would take at least 2-3 months to get approval. This "policy" requirement is one of the changes we may hear about next week from NYS. 

    * The "fine print" you may not have heard:  

      a. TTS is only for children who were exposed here at school (home and weekend exposures are not eligible for TTS).  

      b. While here, the children in quarantine must have had a mask on the entire time they were near the positive Covid individual (this eliminates anyone in the cafeteria when masks were off within the quarantine zone). 

      c. TTS does get students back to school much sooner (a positive) but does NOT allow them to stay for any extracurricular activities or sports after school until the full ten days of original quarantine are up. 

2.  5 Day Quarantine vs. 10 (for vaccinated essential workers that test positive only)

        Fine print: You must have had both shots AND your booster to be eligible. 

    *  Last week NYS agreed with the CDS that all school staff were essential workers and could use the 5 day quarantine if fully vaccinated. As of January 4th, NYS has since reversed their stand on school staff being essential and have removed them/us from the list of those eligible. This decision is also one of the changes we may hear about next week from NYS. 

3. Home Test Kits being sent to all families with school age children. 

   * This IS going to happen this Friday (January 7th). A more detailed information sheet will be shared, along with a video of how to give the test, in an email tomorrow. 

   * Why is this happening? NYS wants us to see how much spread has occurred, in our communities, during the long holiday break. 

   *  If you do NOT want the tests sent home to you, please email or call our school nurses and let them know today. We will keep any extra tests for those families who may need them later on.   (challahan@bfcsd.org OR  atuper@bfcsd.org