Penn Charter has centered on the goal of a full and complete return to on-campus learning, while ensuring the health and safety of the community.
As in 2020-21, our Covid-19 mitigation strategies in 2021-22 are multi-layered and include masking, physical distance, ventilation, hygiene and more. When community and local conditions fluctuate, we will be able to add or remove some of these layers in specific and targeted ways.
In early September, Penn Charter announced two additional mitigation strategies for the year: mandated vaccines for all eligible adults and students, and surveillance testing for students in grades pre-K through 6.
In addition to the requirement that all Penn Charter faculty and staff be fully vaccinated, and in the interest of protecting the health and well-being of students and adults in our community, Penn Charter's Board of Trustees has mandated that all PC students age 12 and older be vaccinated against Covid-19. Read more about the decision.
Beginning Sept. 15, we will institute weekly testing for students in grades pre-K through sixth grade, the vaccine-ineligible members of our community. We are pleased to share that we are partnering with CHOP's Project: ACE-IT program, which offers schools a highly-reliable rapid antigen test. The Project ACE-IT program uses the Abbott BinaxNow tests, which provide results in 15 minutes and are administered using a nasal swab in the front lower area of the nostril. These antigen tests are highly accurate, detecting 97%-98% of symptomatic individuals.
Surveillance testing, also called assurance or screening testing, of our vaccine-ineligible students is especially important during times of high community transmission of the Covid virus because it can identify students who are asymptomatic and do not have a known or reported exposure to the Covid virus.
Our testing program will assist the school to control on-campus transmission.