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Expansion of Binax Rapid Testing Program, Opting out of Rapid Testing, and Ionization Equipment

 

 

Larkspur-Corte Madera School District

 

Dear LCMSD Community,

Educators should constantly be modeling our own learning. In LCMSD, we are committed to continuous improvement and the evolution of practices to provide safer and better outcomes for our students, families, and staff. Below are some new developments.

Expansion of Binax Rapid Testing Program

In early September, The Cove School was identified as one of the early adopter pilot schools for the Binax rapid antigen testing program (Marin IJ Article). By September 10, 2021 all families received a Binax rapid test for home use in the event their child was symptomatic. (Thank you to all the Cove parents who helped repackage these tests!) This allows equity and access of testing to all families and expedites our ability to identify whether or not a student has COVID-19. The goal is to help prevent the transmission of COVID-19 while also minimizing time missed from school due to potential symptoms.

Marin County Public Health and Marin County Office of Education have distributed additional rapid tests to expand this program. In LCMSD, this next phase of expansion will be to our ineligible-unvaccinated population at Hall Middle School (6th graders). Within a week, families of 6th graders will receive Binax rapid tests, as well as instructions and further information on the program. 6th grade families, please be on the lookout for a communication later this week from Dr. Brown. 

As the supply continues to increase, we will begin distributing tests to Neil Cummins families starting with 5th grade and then down. We hope to have more tests within the next couple of weeks. 

Opt Out of Rapid Testing: In addition to the Binax rapid tests being sent home, all schools have an allotmentment of rapid tests for the health office. If your school’s health office determines a need to test your child for COVID-19 with a Binax rapid test, we will administer that test on site. If you want to opt your child out of site based testing when/if the health office determines a need to be tested, please email ghurtwitz@lcmschools.org and she will place you on the do not test list.

Ionization Equipment (improving air quality)

I’m excited to share that today installation of ionization equipment began at Cove School and will continue throughout the district over the next couple of weeks. This equipment is another mitigation strategy to improve air quality and fight against COVID-19 in all classrooms. The ionization machines clump particles in the air so that our MERV 13 filters can then trap them from recirculating, ultimately resulting in cleaner air. This means that during cold and flu season, our classrooms will have less germs circulating. Additionally, it also means that our classrooms will be some of the safest environments in the event of poor air quality. Unless there is an extreme wildfire event, we do not anticipate closing our schools due to poor air quality. 

Take care,

Brett Geithman, Ed.D.
Superintendent 

Board of Trustees

Jill Sellers, President

Sarah Mueller, Vice President

Monica Cañas, Clerk

Eric Schmautz

Annie Sherman