SHIELD Testing Update – August 20, 2021

Dear Huntley 158 Parents & Families:

We would like to provide you with more information about the SHIELD testing process in our buildings. In order to ensure the most effective and efficient process for our students, we have decided to postpone the rollout of SHIELD testing in our buildings to Monday, August 30. In working with our third party vendor, Med-Call, and the SHIELD program, we have been notified that our in-district Test-to-Stay option will not be available for our students by next week. We recognize that the Test-to-Stay strategy, in addition to weekly testing, presents an opportunity to effectively monitor transmission in our buildings and keep students in school. Therefore, our goal in delaying testing is to provide our schools with the best possible opportunity to maintain a safe learning environment. 

If you are still interested in participating in weekly SHIELD testing, please complete this OPT IN form to confirm your consent. This is an electronic form that will allow us to verify our student rosters before testing begins. Please complete this form for each student in your household by Friday, August 27. For those families who have already opted out of SHIELD testing, this form will be used to OPT IN to testing at any time throughout the year. This form will be housed on our district website on the COVID-19 Hub and made available to all families. 

We would like to reiterate that students who are participating in testing will be removed from class at staggered times for approximately 5 minutes to complete the SHIELD test. Classroom teachers will be aware of the testing schedule and testing will be scheduled strategically in order to maximize students’ time in the classroom and avoid meal times.

What are the requirements for the Test-to-Stay strategy?
If your child has been identified as a close contact to a person who is positive for COVID-19, the school health office will review the situation and identify the appropriate quarantine option.  Parents will be notified of the quarantine option and requirements when they are contacted by the school. Please keep in mind the health department has the final word and may change the available options. The test to stay option will only be given if both the confirmed positive case and the close contact were engaged in consistent and correct use of masking and other mitigation strategies. The Test to Stay option is only for classroom/school exposure, not household exposure, and you will be notified if your student is eligible. Please do not determine that this option is appropriate on your own, it will need to be communicated by the school nurse or appropriate designee. Test-to-Stay requirements and procedures can also be found in the attached graphic, here.

In this option, students MUST:

  • Be tested on Days 1, 3, 5 and 7 from the date of exposure. The day of exposure is considered day 0. (The school will provide you with the dates that the test must be administered.) 
  • Be tested with a PCR or rapid antigen or molecular emergency use authorized (EAU) approved test. MCDH will also allow School Based Saliva tests such as SHIELD. Your school nurse will inform you of what type of COVID test needs to be performed as the guidance changes based on community spread, outbreak status, etc. 
  • Immediately quarantine or isolate if they become symptomatic or positive.

Before August 30, 2021, students and staff may be tested with a PCR or rapid antigen or molecular emergency use authorized (EAU) approved test at an alternative location such as:

  • MCDH
  • Walgreens or CVS

Beginning August 30, 2021, students and staff may use SHIELD saliva tests in Huntley 158 buildings to participate in the Test-to-Stay strategy. You will be allowed to remain in school as long as the school nurse receives the results of a negative test for day 1, 3, 5 and 7 AND you or your student remains without symptoms.

After the implementation of SHIELD testing on August 30, 2021, if you elect to test outside of school, you must provide the test results to the school nurse prior to returning to school.

Please know that regardless of the quarantine option, MCDH will not accept test results from self-tests that collect a nasal specimen, including laboratory-based tests where the specimen is collected via self-collection. MCDH will accept saliva tests, so long as they are performed in the  school (such as testing through SHIELD Illinois). MCDH will also not accept antibody test results.

How will I get my SHIELD test results?
When weekly testing begins, positive results will be reported to families with the help of our third party vendor, Med-Call. In the event of a positive case, parents will also be contacted by a school nurse. Results will also be available in your individual SHIELD portal.

  • Each day, testing samples will be taken from our buildings to the laboratories beginning at 5:00 p.m. and Med-Call will begin checking results.
  •  Depending on how fast the laboratories are moving, results come in between 6 and 24 hours after samples are received. This timeframe begins when a test result is delivered to the lab, not from the time a test was administered.
  • You will be notified of positive test results via email and/or phone call by Med-Call as soon as possible, between the hours of 6:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m.
  • In the event of a positive test result, you will also be contacted by a member of the Huntley 158 nursing staff and they will inform the appropriate parent or staff member of necessary quarantine/isolation procedures, determined in collaboration with the MCDH.
  • If all results are negative, you will also receive an email from Med-Call stating such. Inconclusive or rejected results will also be reported.

How do I log in to the SHIELD portal?
Each parent or staff member participating in SHIELD testing will have access to a portal that can be accessed at any time. Once you are logged into the portal, parents can add their dependents to access test results and information. To create your portal account, please follow the steps below:

For step by step instructions, click here.

Thank you for your patience as we navigate this process together. Please keep in mind that this testing program is another way for us to ensure a safe, in-person learning environment for all of our students and staff. This first week of school has served as an important reminder of how impactful learning in the classroom truly is, and we look forward to working together to prioritize a safe learning environment in the year to come.

If you have additional questions about the SHIELD testing program, please visit our website or email superintendent@district158.org

Thank you,

Scott Rowe, Ed.D.

Superintendent

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