Dear Peninsula School District Community,
With the weekly COVID-19 antigen testing underway, we wanted to provide you with some updates about the program.
Antigen Testing Kicks Off for Students and Staff
Voluntary rapid antigen testing began Monday, November 30 in the Peninsula School District, and so far it’s been running smoothly. Testing is taking place once a week at each elementary school, Key Peninsula Middle School, Peninsula High School, and Gig Harbor High School for students and staff only until winter break. This procedure is done by taking a quick sample with a nasal swab. By participating in the testing pilot, we are able to quickly identify and isolate any cases of COVID-19 on our campuses to protect the health and safety of our staff and students.
Purpose of Antigen Testing
Antigen testing is a new component of our safety protocols so students, staff, and families feel more comfortable and confident about coming to school for in-person learning.
If your child is feeling unwell, please go to an identified COVID-19 testing site to be tested, not your local school. Students cannot enter a school building if showing symptoms.
The goal is to test all students and staff who are in contact with each other in our buildings. We’d like to test as many students and staff as possible, including those working/attending remotely. However, our priority is to test 100 percent of those students and staff who come to our schools for in-person learning and athletics or activities.
Students and staff participating in remote learning and those staff who do not regularly access a school facility may be tested as space allows on Friday, Dec. 4 at Key Peninsula Middle School, Gig Harbor High School or Peninsula High School between 1pm-4pm. Student athletes can be tested at these locations on Fridays between 2:30 and 4:00pm.
Consent Forms for Weekly Antigen Testing
Please remember that a signed consent form will be necessary for each student (Spanish and Russian) being tested during the weekly antigen testing. Please send the signed form to school with your child. The consent form only needs to be signed once and will be in place for the duration of the testing pilot.
Data from the First Two Testing Days
We are pleased to report that of the six schools and approximately 900 individuals tested so far this week; over 60 percent of students and 80 percent of staff participated in the testing program. The testing resulted in one positive case that was quickly isolated. We hope to see the numbers of students and staff participating in the testing pilot increase next week.
Video of Live Discussion with Dr. Chen from TPCHD
In case you missed the live discussion with Dr. Chen, Director of Health with TPCHD on Nov. 24 regarding the pilot testing program, you can view the recording on our website.
We encourage staff/families to take advantage of this opportunity as we work to provide an additional layer of safety and confidence for both in person and remote learning. We want your decision to be an informed one and are providing the links below should you want more information or answers to frequently asked questions.
We appreciate your patience as we continue to “learn as we go” with this pilot testing program. Thank you to everyone willing to be tested so far. We understand the pandemic has been hard on everyone, and we hope this program helps us bring all students back to our schools as soon as safely possible.