Board of Education Special Meeting - Feb. 24, 2021
Reopening/Surveillance Testing Discussion
The Board approved a contract with Safeguard Surveillance, LLC, to move forward with voluntary surveillance COVID-19 testing for in-person students and staff. Dr. Hector Garcia, superintendent, shared that the first week of testing would be March 15 with weekly testing available through the end of the year.

A sign-up form and additional detailed information regarding logistics, privacy considerations, and test result protocols will be shared with families and staff.

Testing Information
  • Testing is voluntary. The more individuals who participate the more effective it is as a preventative measure.
  • Testing will be conducted weekly.
  • The test is a non-invasive saliva-based test. Participants will deposit their saliva in a tube for testing.
  • Students and staff members will take the test at home to optimize student and staff time at school and ease the logistical process. Completed tests will be dropped off at a designated location.
  • Results will be shared within 24 hours of administration of the test.
  • Privacy is paramount. Each test has a designated barcode and there are no names included on the test.

Test Results
  • The test provided is an RT-Lamp test that indicates potential clinical significance in its results. Detailed information on this will be shared with the sign-up form.

Privacy Considerations
  • No identifying information is ever shared publicly when a positive case is confirmed.
  • Appropriate audiences are notified (with non-identifying information) as soon as possible after a positive case is confirmed.
  • The District reports the number of positive cases (with non-identifying information) on a daily basis at 4 p.m. on the District's Reopening webpage.

Spring Break Testing
  • Spring break testing will be offered on April 1 or April 2 (exact date TBD) with parent notification of any positive tests on April 3 or April 4 (exact date TBD), so that students and staff may participate in testing before they return to school from spring break on April 5.
Ad Hoc Health Committee Recommendations
Dr. Garcia met with the Ad Hoc Health Committee on Monday, Feb. 22, and the group was overall pleased with the District's progress and safety measures. No formal consensus was reached by the group regarding testing. The committee pointed out different perspectives on testing ranging from current safety protocols are sufficient to testing adds another layer of safety to current protocols.
Vendor Comparisons & Associated Costs
The District identified three possible vendors in its research: Safeguard Surveillance, LLC, Add Your Labs, and University of Illinois - SHIELD. Factors considered included the type of test, collection process, turnaround time, experience in schools, and cost.

It was determined Safeguard Surveillance, LLC, was the best fit for the District's needs. The projected number of tests is 3,000/weekly at $11 per test with a total expense of $429,000 for 13 weeks. The final cost will be dependent upon participation rates. The Board voted to approve the contract 6-0 (1 Board member absent but supported the vote through a written statement).
Additional Information
2 people signed in for public comment:
  • David Beckmann, Elm attendance area, commented on surveillance testing.
  • Megan Hoff, staff member and Walker attendance area parent, commented on the return to full in-person learning.
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