This week, Governor Kathy Hochul announced a statewide goal of providing students the opportunity to be tested for COVID-19 as school resumes after holiday break. There is no requirement that families test their children, but the Governor is encouraging the testing of students in order to keep students and school communities as safe as possible. The Governor stated that they will be sending test kits for distribution to our schools and local BOCES.
The test kits were delivered to OCM BOCES on the afternoon of Dec. 31 by New York state, and BOCES will be delivering them to Fayetteville-Manlius on Monday, Jan. 3.
The Fayetteville-Manlius CSD plans to distribute the kits on the afternoon of Monday, Jan. 3, in the following manner: Students riding the bus will be given a test kit (containing two rapid tests) upon exiting the school bus at the end of the day. To that end, the dismissal of the children by bus may be slightly delayed on Monday, Jan. 3, in order to accomplish this task.
For those students who do not ride the school bus (such as those children being picked up by motor vehicles from the individual schools; those walking home from school; and/or those driving home from the high school student parking lot), a test-kit distribution system will be set up at the individual schools (such as attendants handing kits out to family members in the cars, a counter in the main office, a table in the high school lobby, etc.) in order to accommodate those individuals.
Please note the district is simply a conduit for distribution. We will not be tracking or reporting results. We ask that families who utilize the kits and have a child with a positive test result report the positive case to the local health department and work with the district to follow all isolation and quarantine requirements. Parents and guardians should use the following link to submit at-home test results: https://covid19.ongov.net/at-home-covid-test-results-screen/
To clear up any possible confusion, this opportunity to receive free test kits is not related to Test to Stay (TTS) programs in which some districts are choosing to participate. Information on TTS will be forthcoming, as applicable.
As a reminder, families should keep their children at home who are exhibiting any COVID-like symptoms. These test kits will not be effective if families do not continue to follow the daily screening for COVID-like symptoms.
Thank you for your continued support as we navigate the complications created by this pandemic. Have a safe and Happy New Year.
Craig J. Tice, Ph.D.
Superintendent of Schools
Fayetteville-Manlius Central School District