Eagle Nation News
Weekly Update: September 10, 2021
This week marks the conclusion of our fourth week of school; it’s hard to believe we are almost halfway through the first quarter. Students will have a half day on Friday, September 17th and teachers will participate in professional development activities in the afternoon.
This weekend marks the 20th anniversary of the attack on the World Trade Center and Pentagon. September 11th is a day that we will always remember. This weekend will be an opportunity for us to remember those who lost their lives on that tragic day in our nation’s history.
Good luck to our Eagle football team tonight as they battle the Roxana Shells on Hauser field for our first home game of the season. I hope to see many of you there as we cheer on the purple and gold this evening.
Our primary goal this school year is to remain in person for instruction on a full day schedule. Testing, masking, and other mitigation strategies will only help us accomplish this goal as a school community. As you might have heard, districts and schools all over the state are taking "adaptive pauses" due to high levels of transmission within their school communities. We are layering our mitigation strategies with the goal of staying in person for instruction.
SHIELD TESTING IS DELAYED AND IS NOW SCHEDULED TO BEGIN THE WEEK OF THE 20TH.
We have devoted an entire section of our website to SHIELD testing. Please click on the link below for more specific information. There are videos and examples of districts running the Shield program and what to expect depending on the age level. If your child is going to be tested, we encourage you to have a conversation with them prior to testing about what to expect and some of the information we've shared with you below and on our website.
The Bethalto School District has partnered with the University of Illinois (SHIELD) program to assist with our efforts to monitor and mitigate the spread of COVID-19 in our schools and community. Non-invasive testing for COVID-19 will be performed on a voluntary basis at each of our buildings and is free to all students and staff at every grade level. At this time, all students are able to participate in the testing process. Parents have already been given the opportunity to OPT OUT. If you decide at this point to OPT OUT, please send the form directly to your child's office.
Important details regarding SHIELD:
- The SHIELD test is a free, non-invasive diagnostic test for the COVID-19 virus conducted by collecting a saliva (spit) deposit in under five minutes, which provides results in 24 hours.
- SHIELD testing was developed at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and has a sensitivity rate of 97% and an accuracy rate of 99%
- The goal of the testing program is to reduce the number of students and staff who may come into close contact with COVID-19 positive individuals. Additionally, the program will help identify those individuals who are showing COVID-19 symptoms due to an alternative medical issue or diagnosis. Ultimately, this should result in fewer exclusions and shorter quarantine times.
- Individuals should not eat, drink or chew gum within 60 minutes of providing a saliva sample.
- Families will be notified of any positive test results directly by either the district’s third party vendor, MedCall or a district employee.
- Access an FAQ from the University of Illinois SHIELD program here.
- Informational Video: SHIELD Illinois K-12 Schools Collection Examples
- Informational Video: SHIELD Illinois: How the Saliva-Based PCR Test Works
- Informational Article: More than 1,200 IL K-12 Schools have signed up for SHILED Testing
According to guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH), “screening tests for SARS-CoV-2 can support in-person learning by identifying infected persons who are asymptomatic and without known or suspected exposure to SARS-CoV-2. Screening tests are performed to identify persons who may be contagious so that measures can be taken to prevent further transmission.”
Families should also remember that our testing plan is fluid and may change as we work closely with the local health department and as the data is evaluated. District staff will work with families on a case-by-case basis to determine the steps to ensure students are able to return to school as soon as possible.
The third party vendor, Med-Call is also seeking committed candidates to assist with the collection of COVID-19 test kits from the students and faculty. Collectors may be expected to drive to 2 school sites per day (via their own transportation) to collected completed COVID-19 tests. Persons interested in this part-time or full-time position which pays $15-$20 hour, should contact Hillary Moll at firstname.lastname@example.org
If you have questions, please reach out to your child's school directly. You can also stop by any building to pick up a copy of the forms.We are very grateful to our district families and staff who demonstrate great flexibility and resilience as we work together to contain the spread of this virus and keep our kids safe and in school.
Remember to check out our website for additional information, including FAQ's.
School Fees - My School Bucks
All school fees must be paid in My School Bucks. If you think you qualify for free school fees, please complete this form and turn it into your child's school office.