Dear Incredible Raptor Families,
I cannot express the intense joy and energy it has brought to my life, and the lives of our staff, to have your incredible children back with us in the building. We wish it could be everybody and five days a week, but we will take any moment we can with them! I hope each of them has had a positive experience as well, and please don’t hesitate to let us know if there is a way we can make the experience better.
As you know, my number one priority is to keep your children safe, and we have been hyper focused on the operations that make that possible. Morning screeners, temperature taking, masks and face shields, carefully distanced spaces, and clear communication have been going very smoothly, and we are always looking for ways to make things even safer.
That’s why we are so excited to be partnering with COVIDCheck Colorado to provide free, fast and convenient COVID-19 community sample testing to all in-person staff and students. “Community sample testing” is where you test a small group of individuals within the community regularly to mitigate asymptomatic community spread of the virus (meaning this lets us manage spread even when a person isn’t showing any signs of being sick). According to the Centers for Disease Control, 40% of people who are infected with the coronavirus show no symptoms. This regular, preventative testing is a critical step in keeping our community safe, as it will identify asymptomatic cases to prevent community spread. The below image illustrates how community sample testing works alongside all of our safety protocols to greatly minimize the risk of community spread of COVID-19.
Essentially - with each layer of safety, we make it harder and harder for any COVID virus to make it through our defenses!!
Through our partnership with COVIDCheck, we will offer on-site “community sample” testing to staff and students who are attending in-person, beginning February 8th. Testing will be done with roughly 20% of our staff & students (who have signed a consent form) every week on Mondays/Thursdays. Within a five week period, everyone enrolled in the program will get tested. If you consent to your child being tested you will be notified prior to the test, and then notified within 24-48 hours via text and e-mail with a link to their test results. Your information and test results will be sent via a secure platform that is only accessible by you, and a select group of individuals at DSST and DPS for contact tracing purposes. None of this information is shared with any other parties (outside of those used by COVID Check Colorado for testing and contact tracing)
What kind of testing is it? The saliva protocol that COVIDCheck Colorado uses is SalivaDirect™, which is an FDA Emergency Use Authorization-approved PCR testing protocol. The Yale School of Public Health developed the protocol; the NBA used SalivaDirect™ in “the bubble” to test its players, and the protocol is being rolled out to other organizations, institutions, and populations around the country. Yale’s studies have shown that SalivaDirect™ PCR is as sensitive as a nasal PCR test and is both more convenient and comfortable for participants than a nasal swab.
We encourage you to enroll your student in this program as soon as possible, but by Wednesday, 2/10 at the latest. It’s free, fast, and convenient, and will help keep your child and our community even safer. If you’d like to see the registration process, here’s a video that goes through each step.
Thank you for helping us keep our students, staff, and the broader community safe. If you have any questions or concerns around this preventative testing program, please feel free to reach out to Karla Palacios at email@example.com or at the school number 303-524-6300.
All the best!
Caroline Gaudiani - G
DSST: GVR MS