School-Based Weekly COVID-19 Testing (Weekly Testing Program)
As we enter the 2021-2022 school year, we are excited to welcome all of our students back for in-person programming. We are committed to keeping our students and staff healthy and in school, even as we continue to face challenges related to COVID-19. District 31 is proud to partner with SHIELD Illinois to provide weekly PCR saliva testing (not nasal or throat swab) for students and staff at Winkelman and Field school. Testing is available at each building. The testing is conducted by a third party provider. Each building will communicate the schedule once it is finalized. Testing results are available to the parent and school district in 12-24 hours, and are also sent to the IDPH.
It is recommended that all students in District 31 participate in our voluntary weekly testing program run by SHIELD. This test is administered on site at no cost to a student and family. Families who prefer for their child NOT to participate, must fill out the opt-out form and submit it to the school office. A regular testing schedule is an effective mitigation strategy.
Please also note that CCDPH has just indicated that if a family opts a student out of the weekly Shield testing then they are NOT be eligible to participate in the Test-to-Stay program if they become a close contact at school. They would instead be subject to the 7-10 quarantine period.
Please read the following FAQ and consent for more information. Do not hesitate to reach out to your building administration or nurse for more information.
SHIELD Testing FAQ
Printer Friendly SHIELD Testing FAQs
What is SHIELD testing?
SHIELD is an innovative, saliva-based test created by the University of Illinois. You can read more about it at https://www.uillinois.edu/shield.
How often will testing occur?
Our plan calls to test students in each building once every week. Building administration will send out testing schedules once the testing schedules are confirmed with our third provider “test collectors.” We will evaluate how our testing protocol is going and may determine at some point that more or less frequent testing is needed.
What is the benefit to participating in SHIELD Testing?
By participating in this testing program, District 31 will be able to monitor transmission rates in our building. In addition, students will be able to participate in the special close contact rules for schools, which reduces social distancing from 6 feet to 3 feet.
How often will testing occur?
Our plan calls to test students in each building once every week. Building administration will send out testing schedules once the testing schedules are confirmed with our third-party provider “test collectors.” We will evaluate how our testing protocol is going and may determine at some point that more or less frequent testing is needed.
Is SHIELD testing mandatory for students?
No. Testing is being provided as an additional mitigation strategy to promote the safety of our school community. Parents are able to opt their students out of testing at any time.
Where/when is the testing?
All testing will take place at Field and Winkelman schools during the school day. There will be assigned schedules and locations that are still to be determined.
Who is doing the testing?
SHIELD’s third-party partner will be sending in a trained team to conduct the testing and ensure proper steps are being followed.
Why does the testing have to happen at school? Why not at home?
Testing must take place in school due to Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA) protocols and to ensure that test takers are not eating or drinking prior to testing.
Why can’t we eat or drink one hour prior to testing?
The test developers say that doing so may provide an invalid sample or inconclusive result.
How much does the test cost?
It is free for students and staff. ISBE is covering all costs so there will be no District 31 costs.
When will results be available?
Samples will be picked up by a courier and transported to a SHIELD Illinois lab. Results will generally be available the next day.
How will I get my results?
SHIELD has set up a parent portal so you can receive the results. The school district will also get the results. If the test is negative, you will not hear from the school district. If the test is positive, a school nurse or administrator will call the positive individual or their parent/guardian. Learn how to access the testing portal here.
Will my child’s pediatrician get a copy of the results?
The school district will not send a copy of your child's test results to their pediatrician. Per state protocols, IDPH automatically receives notice of a positive case.
Reminder: "No news is good news." If the test result is negative, you will NOT hear from anyone at District 31.
Consent Notice for COVID-19 Testing and Release of Records
What is this Notice?
West Northfield School District 31 (“School District”) has partnered with the University of Illinois (“Testing Partner”) to test School District students, teachers, and staff members for COVID-19 infection. This notice provides information about the program to allow an informed consent for your child to participate in the testing program.
By NOT OPTING OUT of the testing program as described below, consent for your child to be tested for COVID-19 infection is presumed.
How often will your child be tested?
We are arranging for our Testing Partner to test the students at least 1 time per week.
What is the test?
Your child will receive a free diagnostic test for the COVID-19 virus conducted by collecting saliva (spit).
How will I know if my child tests positive?
You will receive access to your child’s test results via an online platform which we will separately send you information about in future correspondence. West Northfield School District 31 will also receive results of your child’s test and will notify you separately of any positive result.]
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 next steps. You may not send your child back to school until your child has completed the prescribed quarantined period as outlined by the IDPH. If your child’s test results are negative, this means that the COVID-19 virus was not detected in your child’s saliva (spit).
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.
Who will receive my child’s test results?
In addition to you receiving your child’s test results, the School District and the Illinois Department of Public Health (“IDPH”) will also receive your child’s test results, consistent with IDPH guidance and the Illinois Control of Communicable Disease Code.
Do I need to take any other action?
NO other action is required if you consent for your child to be tested for COVID-19 infection pursuant to the above terms. If you do NOT consent for your child to be tested for COVID-19 infection, complete, sign, and return the OPT-OUT form.