http://www.rockdaleschools.org/
RCPS offers free COVID-19 testing for staff and students
Photo of cars lining up for free COVID-19 testing at RCPS , with yellow sign that says "Free COVID testing centers freecovidtesting.us" and arrow pointing to the line; words on photo says "COVID-19 Testing, Prueba COVID-19">>CLICK HERE for COVID-19 Testing Schedule and FAQs.

Conyers, Ga. – Rockdale County Public Schools (RCPS) began offering free, district-wide COVID-19 testing this week for employees – the first district in the state to do so – as part of its acquisition of comprehensive telehealth services secured last November in partnership with Kids’-Doc-On-Wheels, Inc. (KDOW) a nonprofit dedicated to affording school districts comprehensive telehealth and mobile medical unit services. Free COVID-19 testing is just one step in the comprehensive COVID-19 risk mitigation measures RCPS is taking to keep staff and students safe. RCPS will also begin offering free, district-wide COVID-19 testing for students starting February 8, 2021. RCPS is on a fully virtual class schedule until February 22, 2021, when in-person classes on a hybrid schedule will begin for families who choose the hybrid option and virtual classes will continue for families who choose the virtual option.

Superintendent Dr. Terry Oatts said, “As the first district in the state to provide COVID-19 testing for both our staff and students, RCPS is demonstrating its commitment to prioritizing the safety and well-being of our staff and students in preparation for their return to in-person teaching and learning. I’m happy to see other districts beginning to follow suit on securing such access to testing.”

While not originally included in the proposed Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with KDOW, Dr. Oatts successfully negotiated the inclusion of district-wide COVID-19 testing as part of the MOU, which was approved by the Rockdale County Board of Education in November 2020. Throughout December, RCPS and KDOW coordinated the scheduling of COVID-19 testing, which formally began January 25, 2021 at C.J. Hicks Elementary School.

“Our staff testing successfully began Monday on a drive-through basis,” said Superintendent Dr. Oatts. “Fifty staff members were tested on Day 1 which is a great kickoff to testing for our staff. Student testing is already scheduled to begin on February 8 at our three traditional high schools on a weekly rotational basis.

While we can never eliminate all risk, RCPS is working to significantly minimize risk by adhering to the consensus of public health experts which includes 1) mandatory mask wearing, 2) social distancing, and 3) washing hands regularly to include the use of hand sanitizers. Per our reopening schools guide, each of the above measures will be adhered to in RCPS.

In addition to these measures, RCPS will implement a hybrid in-person learning schedule beginning February 22, 2021, which takes the total number of in-person students at each of our schools and reduces that number by half. Half of those in-person students will attend on Monday-Tuesday, while the other half will attend on Wednesday-Thursday. On Friday, all students will have remote supplemental learning and support activities. The intentional decision to implement a hybrid schedule is important as no other school district that is currently hosting in-person learning is doing so on a hybrid schedule. Superintendent Dr. Oatts made the decision to implement a hybrid schedule last semester when planning for an eventual return for in-person learning. The hybrid schedule further facilitates our ability to safely socially distance our students within learning spaces.

For more information about COVID-19 testing for RCPS employees and students, please visit www.rockdaleschools.org/covid19testing. For more information about the hybrid schedule and other risk mitigation measures, please visit www.rockdaleschools.org/reopening.