COVID-19 Test Consent Form due Nov. 17

More COVID-19 Testing details; Consent Form due Tues., Nov. 17th
Posted on 11/13/2020
Dear West Irondequoit Families and Staff:

Let me open with a quick thank you for your diligence in helping our community and school district determine best ways to manage another unprecedented situation caused by this pandemic. We are receiving helpful feedback via the Thoughtexchange sent to you on Thursday. Keep it coming. We cannot do this alone – on any front, so thank you. We understand there is a lot coming at you very quickly. Please stay with us and reach out to myself or your children’s principal with any questions along the way.


As you know, the state has designated most of Monroe County as a Yellow Zone regarding COVID-19 infection rates. As a result, we must begin administering free rapid COVID-19 tests to 20% of our students and staff starting next week. We do not plan to start this process for students until next Thursday, Nov. 19th. No student will be tested without the consent of a parent/guardian. How do you give us your decision on that? Please use the link we emailed families Friday to fill out the form if you want to give us your consent. The deadline for this is 10 AM Tuesday, Nov. 17th.


We know this is a big concern for families/students, so I took the same Abbott BinaxNOW COVID-19 test that we will administer in our schools. Watch a video of that at THIS LINK.


Testing will be conducted in each school building. Each week, staff will be tested Wednesdays when most students are working remotely. In a normal testing cycle, schools will test a random sample of 5% of their students every day M-T-Th-F to reach the overall 20% weekly requirement. Test locations are being identified in each building and once finalized, will be relayed to families/students. Test locations will be large enough to accommodate up to 10 students at a time physically distanced and masked except at the elementary schools. Due to their smaller populations, testing can occur through the Nurse’s Office. Locations will be setup with privacy screens to allow discretion for individuals during the test and all personnel will be outfitted with the recommended personal protective equipment (PPE) per the Monroe County Department of Public Health. Buildings will target non-instructional times for student testing as much as possible to minimize classroom disruptions, but some may occur.


All personnel involved in administering the Abbott BinaxNOW Rapid COVID-19 test will receive training provided by the MCDPH and our District. Training covers proper techniques for safe specimen collection and handling along with appropriate disposal. Staff are also informed on the necessary safety precautions and how to securely manage personally identifiable information to ensure confidentiality.


Each week, principals will receive a list of students randomly selected from the list of known consent. We are working on details and schedules to minimize the impact to instruction. Students will be informed of their test and report to their designated location under the supervision of our test personnel. Upon arrival, students will confirm their identity and sanitize their hands while remaining physically distanced. Specimen samples will be gathered by individual students by a trained individual behind a privacy screen. Once collected, the student’s test will be labeled, and students will return to class under proper supervision. Parents and guardians of students tested will receive an email that day to indicate its completion. If a positive test is encountered, staff will follow the established protocols to isolate the individual in the building’s COVID isolation room and parents will be informed and asked to pick up their child. Any positive tests will be reported to the MCDPH for relevant contact tracing. Read more about the entire process in the new FAQ section on our website. Access it at THIS LINK.


Remember to use the link emailed to you to access the “Thoughtexchange,” which is an anonymous way for you to share feedback/ideas and a valuable tool for us to gather and quantify it. The deadline to submit your thoughts/feedback is 9 AM on Monday, Nov. 16th.


Currently the WICSD falls within the "Yellow Zone” of the NYS Micro-Cluster Strategy.  If we remain above 4% for 10 days, or jump above 5% as a rolling average, NYS officials could quickly transition us from in-person/Hybrid model instruction to temporary Full-Remote Instruction only.  Our teachers and staff are diligently preparing for in-person instruction but are taking actions to ensure that our students are prepared if we do have to make the transition to full remote. You may have noticed that students are bringing home resources that they may need if we do transition.  Please keep the materials in a safe space. We will continue to update families with any changes.


We will host a “Town Hall Meeting” via a Zoom Video Webinar at 6 PM Monday, Nov. 16th. We’ll address your concerns received via the Thoughtexchange and share as much information as we can. Access that webinar again via the link emailed to you. We’ll post it on our YouTube channel for you to view at your convenience.

We were informed today by the Monroe County Department of Public Health that a staff member at Colebrook elementary school has tested positive for COVID-19. This individual was last in school on Monday, Nov. 9th. The MCDPH has started its contract tracing. Federal privacy laws prevent us from providing any more details or personally identifiable information. Questions or concerns? Please call the MCDPH’s hotline at 753-5555 or your healthcare provider. 

Aaron Johnson signature
Aaron R. Johnson, Ed. D
Superintendent of Schools