ADAMS COUNTY, Colo. (CBS4) – Three Adams County school districts are committing to provide COVID-19 testing for all teachers and staff this fall. Westminster Public Schools, 27J Schools and Mapleton Public Schools are partnering with Gary Community Investments’ COVIDCheck Colorado initiative.
The three districts join Aurora Public Schools, which recently committed to provide teachers with rapid COVID-19 testing. The new initiative will also provide symptom tracking and contact tracing tools.
“These three Adams County school districts are demonstrating a level of leadership that tells their staff, students and families how deeply they care about their health and safety,” said Gary Community Investments CEO Mike Johnston. “And, they’re showing that in Adams County there is a plan and a path forward that makes it possible for school communities to safely reopen and re-engage in the quality teaching and learning that everyone desires.”
The districts will provide a baseline COVID-19 test for teachers before they return to work, followed by a test every two weeks. District employees can sign up for an appointment to get a COVID-19 test at a designated site and should receive the results in 72 hours or less.
COVIDCheck Colorado also allows students and staff to track and report symptoms online. District leaders will have access to a HIPAA-compliant dashboard displaying their district’s test results and symptom data to help stop potential outbreaks before they start.
“The ability to provide convenient COVID-19 testing to our staff members serves to further our efforts to meet and exceed safety guidelines,” said Dr. Chris Fiedler, superintendent, 27J Schools. “This county-wide partnership provides an added layer of protection to our staff and students as we continue to plan for safe and equitable school reopenings.”
27J Schools is asking families to commit to one of two options for the fall. The first option includes in-person learning four days a week for elementary school students and every other day for middle and high school students. The second option is full-time online learning through the first semester.
Westminster Public Schools plans to reopen schools on Aug. 20 with in-person instruction five days a week. Families also have the option to enroll in the Westminster K-12 Virtual Academy.
“We are so appreciative of the support provided by COVIDCheck Colorado and Gary Community Investments,” said Dr. Pamela Swanson, superintendent, Westminster Public Schools. “This is a perfect example of the public and private sector coming together to advance the greater good.”
Mapleton Public Schools plans to make a full return to in-person learning five days a week on Aug. 27. Students also have the option to enroll in Mapleton Online, a new K-12 online school.
“Our plan to reopen our schools prioritizes the health and safety of our students and staff,” said Charlotte Ciancio, superintendent, Mapleton Public Schools. “This partnership helps us remain proactive and provides an additional layer of protection to maintain a safe environment where the rewards of attending school outweigh the risks.”