October 14, 2021

The District Weekly for October 13, 2021

October 13, 2021 (Archivo de mensajes en español)

BPS101 Families:

This week we come to you with information about an additional mitigation measure that will be implemented within the District in the coming weeks. 

Following the recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), as well as our state and local health departments, BPS101 implemented several layers of COVID-19 mitigation strategies to protect our students and staff during the 2021-22 school year. An additional layer will be added at the end of October. BPS101 is partnering with SHIELD Illinois (University of Illinois) to provide optional, weekly PCR screening testing to students in grades K-5. This is a non-invasive saliva test that will be conducted on-site during the school day. Families have a choice whether they want to participate and are being asked to indicate their interest by opting into the program. If you do not want to participate, there is no action for you to take at this time.

Given concerns about the Delta variant and the fact that the majority of our students are not yet eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine, the SHIELD program will provide an additional layer of protection for our schools by helping us promptly identify and isolate positive cases. The program is being provided to families with no out-of-pocket costs—testing will be covered by the State of Illinois and will be completed during school hours (no appointments required).

Below are links to some general information and frequently asked questions about SHIELD testing. Additional details and information about SHIELD testing will be shared in the coming weeks and throughout the school year as updates are made to the program. 

BPS101 2021-22 SHIELD Testing Schedule

East Side Schools = Tuesday mornings

West Side Schools = Wednesday mornings

If a school testing day falls on a holiday, the testing day will be skipped and not made up. The students will test the following week. Parents will be notified of positive test results

This notice provides information about the SHIELD testing program to allow informed consent for your student to participate in weekly testing. By opting into the screening testing for your student, you consent for your child to be tested for COVID-19 infection and to have the results and related information shared with BPS101 and public health authorities consistent with IDPH guidance and the Illinois Control of Communicable Disease Code.

Our goal is to provide our schools with the best possible opportunity to maintain a safe learning environment while allowing our families to take full advantage of the added layer of safety that comes from effective weekly testing. If you would like to be a part of this program by opting-in to weekly PCR testing for your K-5 students, please log in to the web-based PowerSchool portal (not the app) and click the “SHIELD Opt-In” link under “Quick Actions” on the homepage for each of your K-5 students that you would like to opt-in.

The SHIELD program will not take the place of our schools’ health and safety measures, which include wearing masks, maintaining social distancing, cleaning protocols, and regular washing of hands—mitigations that already make the risk of in-school transmission low. PCR testing is an additional tool that can help ensure that asymptomatic individuals do not come to our buildings and potentially transmit COVID-19 to others.

Look for additional information next Wednesday on this and other important topics within BPS101. If your questions are not answered HERE, please email us at help@bps101.net.

Be well,