Test-to-Stay begins in JCPS: Here’s what you need to know

A Moore High School student takes a COVID-19 rapid test in Louisville, KY.
JCPS begins their...
A Moore High School student takes a COVID-19 rapid test in Louisville, KY. JCPS begins their Test-to-Stay program October 17.(WAVE)
Published: Oct. 17, 2021 at 11:34 PM EDT
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - Jefferson County Public Schools began their Test-to-Stay program Sunday at 60 testing sites across the district.

The program allows quarantined students to take a rapid test and return to school the next day. The students must show proof of a negative test before classes seven times before they are considered COVID-free.

Test-to-Stay aims to dramatically reduce the time students spend learning from home. Currently, quarantined students learn through Google Classroom with a different instructor than in person.

Betty Walker has four kids in JCPS and said she missed a lot of work this year due to quarantines.

“When all of my kids were out, it was 20 days straight,” Walker said. “It forced them to fall extremely behind on their academics. And it caused my checks to be a little lighter than they should have been.”

Walker’s biggest complaint about the new system is needing seven tests. She said it was too invasive.

“I think it’s ridiculous,” Walker said. “Because who wants something stuck up their nose every day?”

Jefferson County is not the first in Kentucky to try this. Oldham and Fayette, among others, have been testing since September.

At a JCPS Board of Education meeting, Superintendent Marty Pollio said the program will help reduce the spread of COVID in schools.

“We want to make sure our kids can participate, and we don’t have to shut down sports,” Pollio said. “Everyone gets to participate in things like basketball, wrestling and all of our extracurricular activities because that’s critical and most importantly we’re able to stay in school and we don’t see increases in spread because we are having winter athletics and extracurricular activities,”

As of October 17th, 1,022 JCPS students are in quarantine.

The testing sites are open 3-7 p.m. Sunday through Thursday. A full list of testing sites can be found here.

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