AISD goes virtual this week, will begin COVID-19 rapid testing Wednesday


AUSTIN (KXAN) — Students in the Austin Independent School District are doing classes virtually this week coming back from Thanksgiving break, and the district says it’ll start offering COVID-19 rapid tests starting Wednesday.

In an effort to mitigate potential spread of COVID-19, district officials decided Nov. 25 to take a remote approach to the week following Thanksgiving, assuming that at least some families would still decide to travel and gather with people outside of their households.

AISD Superintendent Dr. Stephanie Elizalde said Austin Public Health’s shift to Stage 4 risk guidelines also helped convince administrators to keep students at home from Monday to Dec. 4.

“I realize that this decision will require many of our families to find alternate child care
arrangements, but in assessing the risks, I concluded this was in the best interest of a long term
vision,” she wrote in a letter to parents on Wednesday.

Students are expected to return to campus Dec. 7.

Vandegrift High School in the Leander ISD is also having all students take classes from home this week.

In another move to help slow the spread of COVID-19, the district will hold three days of rapid testing at six locations around Austin. All locations will be drive-through service, and all students and staff who have been on campus are eligible to take the tests.

Testing will be offered at Burger Stadium, Dobie Middle School, Mendez Middle School, Navarro Early College High School, Northeast Early College High School and Travis Early College High School.

Service dates and times for all locations will be from 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Dec. 2, and 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Dec. 3 and 4.

The district will test students’ families at Burger Stadium and Northeast Early College High School. Austin Public Health will help administer those tests, but families will have to register by 5 p.m. Monday.

Items that will be needed at the time of testing are:

  • completed child/student or adult/staff consent form
  • student/employee ID
  • driver’s license or state ID
  • mask
  • parent/guardian presence if recipient is under 18 (A student under 18 years of age may come unaccompanied to the testing site if parent/guardian has a fully completed consent form. Any missing information on the consent form may lead to the student being turned away)

Registration for the tests can be done through the district in English and Spanish.

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