District seeks parent permission to test students for COVID

Pioneer School District is reaching out to parents for permission to test students for COVID-19 on campus as part of efforts to continue in-person instruction. 

Superintendent Benjamin Halsey said the district will offer the BiNAX NOW antigen test, a less invasive swab of the nose and also known as the rapid test.

"We are asking consent at this time to be prepared in the event that our district is placed in a color zone delineation, which would require us to test 20 percent of our students and staff on site, in order to stay open for campus learning," Mr. Halsey said in a letter to parents.

The testing would be completed by the Cattaraugus County Health Department's Mobile Unit with assistance from select school health personnel.

Parents were asked to return their consent forms by Dec. 16. If parents do not give consent, their children will not be selected for testing. If Pioneer does not reach the 20 percent approval threshold for onsite testing, the district will be required to provide remote instruction only during the color zone delineation period.