FFCS seeks to be proactive and ensure school can stay open
Dear FFCS Families,
We are reaching out today to ask for your help in keeping our schools open. The state is labeling areas of New York with high COVID-19 rates as yellow, orange or red zones. If a region is placed in one of these zones, there are restrictions for businesses, gatherings and schools. FFCS is NOT currently in one of these zones, however rates are on the rise in Montgomery County and the Mohawk Valley.
Our goal is to keep our school buildings open if our region is labeled a zone. The state would require that our schools perform COVID-19 tests on a certain percentage of the school population in order to remain open. FFCS is asking for your consent to test ahead of time so that we can be prepared.
We are preparing for this by offering parents two scenarios:
- You can give your consent to have your child tested at school; OR
- You can agree that you will take your child to be tested and share the results with the school within 7 days.
If you agree to either of these scenarios, please complete the online form for your child(ren) using this form: https://www3.ffcsd.org/screening/index-consent.php. Please complete this form as soon as possible.
Here are some things you should know about school-based testing:
- These tests are not the deep-sinus swabs that some individuals have found uncomfortable. In-school tests would be fast and painless–just a swipe of the lower part of the nostril.
- We would not conduct any testing without advance notice. Parents will receive an email the day before their child is tested if they have given their consent.
- There will be no cost to families for these tests.
- Results are available within minutes. Parents will be notified immediately in the case of a positive result.
- Tests will be administered by the school nurse.
- “Remote-only” students will not be tested and their families should not fill out the consent form.
- No individual is required to be tested, but it is our hope to have strong cooperation so that we can keep our schools open for in-person instruction.
- Testing requirements vary by zone and we are continuing to stay tuned for more information about the participation levels needed.
- If we are unable to meet the minimum required number of tests by school, we would likely need to transition the school(s) to all-remote learning for a time period that is undefined at this point.
To help, we have also created a COVID-19 School-Based Testing Q&A on our website.
We will continue to communicate with you about anything that changes our COVID-19 school response. We encourage our families to continue to check their email and the district website for information. We appreciate your continued support and cooperation. As always, please contact your child’s principal or the district office with questions.
Superintendent of Schools