Later this month, in cooperation with the University of Illinois, we will begin the process of participating in the SHIELD Illinois testing program. SHIELD is an innovative, saliva-based test created by the University of Illinois to detect the presence of COVID-19. This test is unique because of its ability to detect COVID-19 even before an individual begins to show symptoms. The test is simple, fast, and takes place at school during the day. The addition of this testing program adds to the many mitigation strategies already in place by the District and is used by many other school districts and universities across the state to control the spread of COVID-19 in schools.
We will use SHIELD Testing as surveillance testing of our unvaccinated students. Testing of students participating in the program will be performed once a week during the school day for students. We will continue to use the BinaxNOW COVID-19 test for our “Test to Stay” program.
Testing locations will differ at each of our buildings based on daily schedules, meal times, and availability of staff and space. Students will be tested at a central location at their school.. To learn more about the testing procedures that will be used, please view the SHIELD Collection Examples video.
As the district compiles rosters of participating students, details about testing dates and locations, creating your online SHIELD portal, and instructions to access test results will be communicated to families as soon as possible.
If a student’s test result is positive, families will receive communication by SHIELD after the results are returned from the lab. This will typically occur within 24 hours, but may take as long as 48 hours
If your student has been fully vaccinated, they will not need to participate in this program. In order to remove them from our list of participants, you may submit documentation verifying that they are fully vaccinated. If you wish to share this information with us, please submit a copy of your student’s CDC vaccination card or a record from their physician through the COVID-19 vaccination submission form.
Participation in the testing program is completely optional for students. As you make this decision for your student(s) and family, please note the following details:
- The SHIELD test is a free, non-invasive diagnostic test for the COVID-19 virus conducted by collecting a saliva (spit) deposit in under five minutes, which provides results as quickly as within 24 hours.
- SHIELD testing was developed at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and has a sensitivity rate of 97% and an accuracy rate of 99%.
- Individuals should not eat, drink or chew gum within 60 minutes of providing a saliva sample.
- Families will be notified of any positive test results directly by the 3rd party vendor, HR Support.
- Students’ participation in this program will limit potential exclusion situations and allow students to safely remain in an in-person learning environment.
All students have been included in our testing roster so that any student may be tested if needed. If you wish for your student not to participate in the SHIELD testing program, please complete the following opt-out form no later than Friday, October 22, 2021.
To learn more about the University of Illinois SHIELD testing program, please visit the program’s FAQs webpage.