• Test to Stay Program

    November 3, 2021

    Dear South Burlington School District Families and Caregivers: 

    Our district is excited to announce that we are preparing to begin the voluntary antigen Test to Stay (TTS) program. The TTS program is activated when an unvaccinated student or student(s) are identified as a close contact of a confirmed case of COVID-19. The intention of the TTS program is to allow students that would otherwise be required to quarantine to remain in school. A detailed description of this program can be found on the Agency of Education Test to Stay website. More details on what testing day will look like are included below. 

    Test to Stay is only for unvaccinated students, who are asymptomatic (do not have symptoms), and who are close contacts of a positive case that they encountered at school. It replaces the need to quarantine and miss school days, but students are still expected to quarantine when at home, including on the weekends.

    At this time, we do not have the test kits, but anticipate that happening soon. In the meantime, we would like to firm up parental consent and registration to ensure a smooth rollout. 

    Next Steps: Complete Both Forms Below

    1. A student can only participate in Test to Stay if their parent/guardian has given consent. If you would like your child to participate in the response testing, including the antigen Test to Stay program, please complete the Consent Form as soon as possible.

    2. Vermont will be using SimpleReport to report the results of antigen tests. This reporting system allows for parents/guardians to receive their student’s results instantly. Please register your student, including your contact information, using this registration link. Please Note: this self-registration link is not the same as giving consent. In order for your child to participate, you must complete both: the above Consent Form and the SimpleReport form.

    How the Test to Stay Program works

    If you have consented for your child to participate in the Test to Stay program you will receive a notification from your child’s school if they have been identified as a close contact of a positive case. In most cases, Test to Stay will start the next morning and your child will receive a rapid antigen test before the start of the school day. Daily antigen testing will continue until seven (7) school days after the last exposure. If the last day of testing falls on a weekend, then the school will do a final day of testing on Monday morning.

    • If your child testnegative, they may remain at school and participate in school-sponsored activities. 

    • If your child testpositive, they will be considered positive for COVID-19 and will need to enter a period of isolation for 10 days. 

    If your child develops symptoms at any point, inform the school, seek a PCR test right away and keep your child at home and away from others. 

    Your child does not need to be tested on the weekends, but should quarantine, meaning they should not participate in other activities, go to the grocery store, or spend time with friends and others outside of their household. 

    It is important to note that this Test to Stay program is only for attendance at school or on-campus school-sponsored activities. Your child is expected to quarantine for all other activities, aside from medical appointments, until seven (7) days after last exposure. While participating in Test to Stay, your child may not attend school activities that involve students from other schools, such as sport or scholastic competitions. 

    During the entirety of this Test to Stay protocol, you or a designated person should be available to provide transportation to the testing location (577 Dorset Street, So. Burlington: across from the high school and next to the Fire Station).

    • You, or a designated person, will wait at 577 Dorset Street until the rapid test results come back (approximately 30 minutes).  

    • If your child receives a positive antigen test result, they will need to be brought home from the testing site.

    During your child’s quarantine:  

    • You should watch for symptoms, even if mild, of cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fever, chills, fatigue, muscle pain or body aches, headache, sore throat, new loss of taste or smell, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting, or diarrhea.  

    • Your child should not leave home, except to attend school, on-campus school-sponsored activities, or to get medical care.  

    • You should call ahead before visiting a health care provider or emergency department with your child to notify them that your child is in quarantine.

    • While at home, your child should stay apart from other people in the household, especially anyone who is at increased risk of getting very sick, like people who are older or have certain health conditions. Other household members, including siblings attending school, do not need to quarantine unless they develop symptoms.  

    If at any point your child develops symptoms:  

    1. Do not send your child to school.  

    2. Call your child’s health care provider or make an appointment through the Vermont Department of Health to schedule a PCR test.   

    3. If your child is having a medical emergency, call 9-1-1 or go to the hospital.  

    4. If your child doesn’t have a provider, call 2-1-1 to be connected to a clinic in your area.  

    5. People with mild illness can treat their symptoms at home: help your child get plenty of rest, drink plenty of fluids, and take fever-reducing medication if needed.  

    Learn More!

    View this recorded Virtual Town Hall with a group of Vermont medical professionals and representation from the Agency of Education (it was held October 28 to help provide information and answer questions about the Test to Stay program).

    If you have general questions about Test-to-Stay, please contact your school nurse directly. 

     Thank you,

    David Young