• Test to Stay Program Will Allow Students to Remain in School after COVID-19 Exposure

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     MLK students

    Students at Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary School. (Photo by Beth Conyers)

    Dear PPS Families,

    With low in-school transmission of COVID-19, Portland Public Schools has been exploring how to increase students’ classroom time during this pandemic. We are pleased to announce that we are finalizing the use of a “Test to Stay” model to augment our vaccinations efforts in schools.

    In a Test to Stay program, students who are exposed to COVID-19 at school can continue to come to school and will receive onsite testing on specified days during the subsequent two weeks. Students who remain asymptomatic and have negative test results will not need to quarantine. 

    We believe vaccination remains the most effective method to keep students and staff safe from COVID-19 and urge all who are eligible to be vaccinated or receive a booster. Test to Stay is intended for unvaccinated, asymptomatic individuals in a school setting where universal masking is fully in place.

    The Test to Stay model is supported by the Oregon Department of Education. We are finalizing plans to start the program in January as we work in conjunction with our local public health authority. We will provide additional training and support to our building leaders and increase communication about timelines and testing to families.

    You can help expedite the process by signing the consent form for the BinaxNOW test, which we have been offering for symptomatic students and staff in our schools since spring and will use in Test to Stay. You can get the consent form from your school, or download it at the links below, then sign it and return it to the school. 

    Consent form for students 15 and older:

    ​Consent form for parents and guardians of students under 15: