September 14, 2021

Dear Parents, Caregivers and Guardians,

Thank you for your continued support as we kick off the 2021-2022 school year. At Southwick-Tolland-Granville Regional School District, keeping your students safe and in school is our top priority. We have learned a great deal over this past year and our current guidance and procedures reflect the most updated recommendations from the CDC and the Massachusetts Department of Public Health.

For the 2021-22 school year, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts has partnered with CIC Health to provide free COVID-19 testing to students, teachers and staff who have been identified as a close contact through school-based contact tracing. Called Test&Stay, we are pleased to offer this testing program at STGRSD.

What is Test&Stay?
Test&Stay is a FREE rapid COVID-19 antigen test that uses a shallow nasal sample collected under the supervision of a school nurse or trained health care provider. Unlike some other COVID-19 tests, these are not uncomfortable and easy for students to do themselves. Test&Stay is an individual test and is NOT pooled testing.

Test&Stay allows students who have been identified as a school-based close contact to stay in school if they are not showing any symptoms. Instead of needing to quarantine and miss school, these students can take a daily rapid test while they remain in school as long as they are not symptomatic.

The duration of the Test&Stay program is seven (7) days from the date of exposure. Some of these days could be non-school days (i.e., weekends or holidays). Testing is only required on school days, unless the individual participates in school-sponsored sports or extracurricular activities that fall on a non-school day. If the seventh (7th) day falls over a non-school day, the individual must be tested on the morning of their return to school. Students must continue to monitor for symptoms through day fourteen (14) from exposure.

For school-sponsored events and sports that take place on non-school days, testing is necessary on those days for close contacts to participate. If these close contacts do not consent to testing, or if specialized home testing kits are not available, individuals may not participate. Coaches and activity advisor will require the results of the test for the student to participate.

Who is eligible for Test&Stay?
Test&Stay is a voluntary program that is only available for students and staff that have been identified as school-based close contacts by the district and are not showing symptoms. Students must have permission from a parent or guardian to participate in Test&Stay. Students displaying symptoms of COVID-19 are not eligible to participate in Test&Stay.

What if a student tests positive through Test&Stay?
If a student tests positive for COVID-19 using the rapid antigen test, parents will be called to pick the student up and the student will be required to stay home pending the results of a PCR test. The school nurse will provide additional information at that time.

When will Test&Stay testing being at STGRSD?
Beginning on October 4, 2021, Test&Stay will be available at STGRSD for all students and staff who have a completed consent form.

How do I give my child permission to participate in Test&Stay?
For students to participate in the program, a parent or guardian must complete a one time consent form which is available online at: https://www.cic-health.com/consent/ma?district=null

Instructions for completing the form are available on the District website on the COVID-19 page. https://www.stgrsd.org/about_s_t_g_r_s_d/c_o_v_i_d-19

Consent forms may be completed at any time. Parents who wish to remove their consent may do so by submitting a request in writing to the school nurse.

More information about the COVID-19 testing program is also available through the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education’s website: https://www.doe.mass.edu/covid19/testing/.

It is our hope that these measures will work together to keep our schools safe and your student in school. If you have additional questions regarding the program, please contact our Lead Nurse, Marcia Lamoureaux at (413) 569-6171.

Jennifer Willard

Southwick-Tolland-Granville Regional School District