I hope your family is keeping safe and healthy. I’m writing today with some important updates following the closure of your school building earlier this month.
As you know, your school building was previously closed because it was in a zip code that had elevated rates of transmission of COVID-19. Subsequently, the State of New York developed a geographic zone approach for designating risk levels, and on Wednesday, October 21, made an important announcement regarding these geographic zones. Your school is in one of the designated zones.
Here is how this announcement affects your school, and important next steps:
- The State has affirmed that your school is in the “yellow zone.”
- Per State guidance, this means your building can reopen, with additional precautions in place to ensure the safety and health of your school community.
- Your school building will reopen for in-person teaching and learning on Monday, October 26.
- All yellow zone schools will perform the important precautionary step of mandatory weekly testing of a random selection of staff and students in the school building.
- 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, or your school is no longer in the yellow zone.
- In order for us to test your child for COVID-19, we need your consent. See below for how to provide it.
Your child’s principal will follow up with you shortly about reopening details and student schedules. Please note that you can find a map of the City’s zones at nyc.gov/covidzone.
Information and Consent for Mandatory Weekly Testing for COVID-19
Mandatory in-school testing will be conducted weekly at yellow zone schools for staff and students in grades 112. The test is easy, quick, and safe. More than 20,000 students and staff 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 new mandate from the State requiring weekly testing in your school.
Whether you have filled out a form previously, or if you have not yet filled out a form, please see these easy methods to do so right away:
- 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 you and your child’s information to provide consent.
2. 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.
Richard A. Carranza
Chancellor, New York City Department of Education