September 29, 2020

 

 

Dear Families,

 

We are so excited to welcome you back into our school building! As we begin this new school year, the health and safety of all students and staff remains our top concern. That’s why many things in our school buildings will look different this year, from face masks to physical distancing in every classroom to disinfecting every school, every night. We are taking all of these steps to ensure that our schools remain safe, our students and staff stay healthy, and that you feel confident sending your children for in-person learning.

 

Today we are writing to ask for your help with another important element of our health and safety work: testing our students and staff for COVID-19. Keeping school buildings open depends on helping us stay aware of and take immediate action to address COVID-19 concerns in our buildings. That’s why we have partnered with NYC Health + Hospitals, the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, and the NYC Test & Trace Corps to arrange for testing of NYC DOE students and staff for COVID-19 infection.

 

Our testing partners will test a randomly selected group of staff and students in schools once per month. The number of children and staff to be tested each month will depend on the size of the school population. In addition to the random monthly testing, we are also working hard to offer in-school testing later this year for students who are showing symptoms of COVID-19, or are a confirmed close contact of someone in the school who has tested positive. The test is easy, quick, and safe. Instead of the “long swab” that goes in the back of the nose, this test is a short, small swab (like a Q-Tip) that goes just in the front of the nose. Later this school year, it is possible that tests will be administered by collecting a small amount of saliva (spit).

 

In order for us to administer a COVID-19 test to your child, we need your consent. We strongly encourage you to sign and return the attached consent form as soon as possible.

 

Monthly testing of randomly selected staff and students is a vital part of our efforts to prevent COVID-19 transmission in our buildings, because it helps identify positive COVID-19 cases when symptoms are not present. As with other health and safety measures we are requiring to keep our staff and students safe, the success of this testing initiative relies on the partnership and cooperation of staff and students.

 

While consent to testing is not mandatory, providing our testing partners with a sufficient monthly sample size to identify the prevalence of COVID-19 is critical in our ongoing fight against this virus and to ensure we can keep school communities in school buildings for in-person learning. For the safety of our school community, students who do not have consent forms on file may be required to learn remotely if we do not receive forms from enough students in the school.

 

We want to assure you that if your child is selected for testing but is uncomfortable or unable to be tested, we will not test your child and will work with you to address any concerns so that they can participate in future testing. We are focused on making this a brief, and gentle experience for our students, led by trained testers.

 

If your child is tested, we will let you know they were tested and when and how you will receive the results, which will typically be provided within 48-72 hours.


We know you likely have questions, and we are sharing more information in the attached Frequently Asked Questions document. Please review this with your child.

 

Testing in schools will begin in October. You can reach out to your school at any time with any questions or concerns.

 

We deeply appreciate your partnership and your commitment to keeping your school community safe and healthy. Sincerely,

 

 

Dave A. Chokshi, MD, MSc

Commissioner, NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene

 

 


 

Ted Long, MD, MHS

Executive Director, NYC Test & Trace Corps

 

 


 

Richard A. Carranza

Chancellor, New York City Department of Education

To download/pring the Student Consent Form, click on the pdf link or see copy below: 
Student_COVID-19_Testing_Consent_Form_-_September_27_2020_(1).pdf

                                                                                                                                                                          

 

NYC DOE CONSENT FORM FOR COVID-19 TESTING

What is this form?

We are seeking your consent to test your child for COVID-19 infection. The New York City Department of Education (NYC DOE), working with NYC Health + Hospitals and the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, has partnered with laboratories and other providers to test NYC DOE students, teachers, and staff members for COVID-19 infection.

How often would you test my child?

We are arranging for our laboratory and provider testing partners to come to every school once a month to test some of the students and staff. If you consent, your child may be selected for testing on one or more of these occasions. In addition, your child may also be tested throughout the school year if they exhibit one or more symptoms of COVID-19 or are a close contact of a student, teacher, or staff person with COVID-19 infection.

What is the test?

If you consent, your child will receive a free diagnostic test for the COVID-19 virus. The attached letter provides more information about the types of tests that may be used. Collecting a specimen for testing involves inserting a small swab, similar to a Q-Tip, into the front of the nose and/or collecting saliva (spit).

How will I know if my child tests positive?

If your child has a specimen collected for testing at school, we will send information home with them to let you know. COVID- 19 test results will generally be provided within 48-72 hours.

What should I do when I receive my child’s test results?

If your child’s test results are positive, please contact your child’s doctor immediately to review the test results and discuss what you should do next. You should keep your child at home and inform your child’s school. If your child’s test results are negative, this means that the virus was not detected in your child’s specimen. Tests sometimes produce incorrect negative results (called “false negatives”) in people who have COVID-19. If your child tests negative but has symptoms of COVID-19, or if you have concerns about your child’s exposure to COVID-19, you should call your child’s doctor. If you need help finding a doctor, call (844) NYC-4NYC.

TO BE COMPLETED BY PARENT, GUARDIAN OR ADULT STUDENT

Parent/Guardian Information

Parent/Guardian

Print Name:

 

Parent/Guardian

Address:

 

Parent/Guardian

Tel./Mobile #:

 

Parent/Guardian

Email address:

 

Best way to

contact you

 

Child/Student Information

Child/Student

Print Name:

 

Child/Student

School ID/OSIS #:

 

Child/Student

Date of Birth:

 


Child/Student

School

 

Child/Student

Address:

 

 

NOTIFICATION OF INFORMATION SHARING

The law allows some information about your child to be shared with and among certain New York City and New York State agencies and their contracted service providers, including those listed below. This information will be shared only for public health purposes, which may include notifying close contacts of your child if they have been exposed to COVID-19, and taking other steps to prevent the further spread of COVID-19 in your school community. Information about your child that may be shared with these agencies and service providers conducting COVID-19 Testing includes your child’s name and COVID-19 test results, date of birth/age, gender, race/ethnicity, school name(s), teacher(s), classroom/cohort/pod, enrollment and attendance history, and afterschool or other program participation, names of other family members or guardians, address, telephone, mobile number, and email address. Sharing of information about your child will only be done so in accordance with

applicable law and City policies protecting student privacy and the security of your child’s data.

  • NYC Department of Education
    • NYC Department of Youth and Community Development
  • NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene
    • NYC Health and Hospitals Corporation
  • NYS Department of Health
    • Contracted Service Providers for COVID-19 Testing

CONSENT

By signing below, I attest that:

  • I have signed this form freely and voluntarily, and I am legally authorized to make decisions for the child named above.
  • I consent for my child to be tested for COVID-19 infection.
  • I understand that my child may be tested at multiple times through September 30, 2021, and that testing may occur on days scheduled by the NYC DOE, if my child exhibits one or more symptoms of COVID-19, or is a close contact of a COVID- 19 case.
  • I understand that this consent form will be valid through September 30, 2021, unless I notify the designated contact person from my child’s school in writing that I revoke my consent.
  • I understand that if I revoke my consent or refuse to sign, my child may be required to continue their education via remote learning.
  • I understand that my child’s test results and other information may be disclosed as permitted by law.
  • I understand that if I am a student age 18 or older, or may otherwise legally consent for my own health care, references to “my child” refer to me and I may sign this form on my own behalf.

Signature of Parent/ Guardian* (if child is under age 18)

 

Date

Signature of Student

(if age 18 or over or otherwise

authorized to consent)

 

Date

 

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