Dear Pelham Families and Staff,
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to evolve, we remain committed to creating a safe environment for in-person learning for our students, teachers, and staff.
This can only be achieved by working collaboratively as a school system, community, and county to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in schools and keep one another safe. This is especially important given the ongoing spread of the highly contagious Delta variant.
As part of this effort, the Pelham Public Schools is pleased to announce that we, along with schools across Westchester County, are partnering with the Westchester County Department of Health, Mount Sinai Health System, Inc. and C-19 Safety First, to offer a FREE COVID-19 screening testing program for our students and staff. Participation in this program will help identify pre-symptomatic or asymptomatic individuals, which will help prevent outbreaks and keep our schools open so our students can receive the in-person education they deserve.
In the coming days all families will receive an email with instructions on how to grant consent for participation in this testing program. This email will come from “C-19 Safety First”. Once you receive the email, we ask that you read it carefully and consider granting consent by this Friday, October 1 so that we may begin this program immediately.
The COVID-19 screening testing program relies on two testing strategies:
- Initial voluntary baseline testing of all students, teachers, and staff during the first week of October
- Ongoing weekly testing of 20% of all students, teachers, and staff thereafter (including required weekly testing for unvaccinated staff and students participating in high-risk sports)
Testing will be completed using non-invasive, self-collected saliva samples that are appropriate and painless for all ages. Samples will be processed using accurate and reliable PCR analysis—the gold standard of COVID-19 testing— to identify positive cases.
It is our hope that as many students and staff as possible will take part in this testing program. Thank you for your help in keeping our schools safe during the upcoming year. Additional information and next steps will be forthcoming after consent has been granted.
Cheryl H. Champ, Ed. D.
Superintendent of Schools