A Message from the Superintendent

Important COVID-19 Testing Program Forms (9/17/21)

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September 17, 2021

Dear Winnetka Families,

This is an important update on our Covid-19 Testing Program, following the last update shared on September 14. Please take a moment to review these details:

  • If you previously submitted initial consent for your child(ren) via this digital form, your child(ren) will have hard copies of consent/waivers for BinaxNOW and SHIELD Illinois testing sent home with them today.

    • For convenience, you also have the option to download and print the forms at home:

    • Both signed consent waivers need to be received at your child’s school before your child will be tested. Please return the hard copies of your signed consent/waivers to your child(ren)’s teacher by Wednesday, September 22 to ensure this District is ready for our launch of SHIELD IL Screening Testing, which is anticipated to begin the week of September 27.

    • If you received a hard copy of the consent/waiver in error, you may recycle it.

Below is an at-a-glance list of facts regarding the District’s COVID-19 Testing program (given current Cook County Department of Public Health guidance at this time):

  • Providing consent to the District’s COVID-19 testing program means consenting to BOTH the “Test to Stay” option conducted via the BinaxNOW lower nasal swab AND the screening program via the SHIELD Illinois saliva test. You cannot consent to one without the other. Both consent/waivers need to be signed.

  • The “Test to Stay” option is only provided for asymptomatic, consenting close contacts of a student or staff exposure at school.

  • SHIELD is only provided for consenting, unvaccinated students.

  • SHIELD Testing notified us that they are prepared to start testing in our schools the week of September 27. The SHIELD team will be in our schools next week to walk through the process and to determine when and where classes will test. Once that is determined, we will notify parents of the testing schedule specific to their school. The goal is to minimize disruption to the instructional day.

  • BinaxNOW Testing is available in our buildings now, for asymptomatic, close contacts only. Once Suburban Cook County transmission rates improve, we anticipate being able to use BinaxNOW for symptomatic individuals.

  • Consenting students will be SHIELD tested no more than once a week (the waiver indicates “at least once a week;” however, the District will not be testing more than once a week given our small schools).

  • Families may opt in or out of the testing program at any time. Please contact carolinhuh@winnetka36.org if you would like to remove your child from the testing program. If you would like to consent to testing and receive a hard copy of the consent/waiver, please complete this form

The District hosted an informational webinar on Monday, September 13 providing detailed information regarding the District’s testing program. A recording of that webinar can be viewed here. You may view the slides reviewed during the webinar here. Additionally, please review the District’s running FAQ document. If you have a question that you feel has not been addressed by the information provided by the District, you may submit your question here.

We acknowledge that there is a tremendous amount of information being shared with our families, and we remain committed to providing information that is timely and accurate. As a reminder, all District communications related to our Covid-19 protocols are accessible on our website here. As protocols from IDPH/CCDPH evolve, we will continue to provide timely and necessary updates to our families. Thank you for your cooperation and shared commitment to keeping our students, staff and families safe, healthy, and learning in-person.


Dr. Trisha Kocanda