JCPS launches “Test to Play” for student athletics, after school activities

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) – Jefferson County Public Schools are now testing all students involved in extracurricular activities for COVID-19.

From Monday, students will be tested every week if they wish to stay in their respective activities.

For many schools, testing has already become the norm. The district’s Test to Stay program has already been implemented in district schools. It allows students who have been in contact with someone diagnosed with COVID-19 to stay in class.

At Hartstern Elementary, students are used to the test.

“(The COVID test) doesn’t really hurt,” student Callie Coop said. “It just tickles.”

Now, JCPS will use the same testing methods and locations to determine if students can participate in extracurricular activities.

“You never know why a child comes to school,” said Duan Wright, principal of Hartstern Elementary School. “Sometimes it’s academic, it’s intrinsic. They love school but sometimes you have kids who work hard so they can do those afternoon activities so they can stay on the basketball team so their parents keep them enrolled karate or things like that.

Students like Coop will need to test negative to participate in sports or any other extracurricular activity. Coop is part of the Backpack of Success Skills program, an after-school program that aims to provide skills and knowledge to students. She said she didn’t mind going through this process.

“I don’t really mind,” Coop said. “It’s just to make sure people are safe and can still learn.”

Students testing to play sports or participate in extracurricular activities will take the tests in the same location at the same time as students testing to stay in class.

“What we’re doing is just adding a few more kids to this list that we see here every Monday,” Wright said.

Students will need to obtain parental consent to participate in the Test to Play program.

“A lot of the kids you see here, their parents signed them up for some of the community activities,” Wright said. “Some of these kids played football, soccer. They’ve been to churches, playing basketball. So parents want to know (if their children have COVID-19). “

Elementary schools will have test sites available inside the building during school hours. Middle and high schools will have afternoon and evening drive-thru options once a week indefinitely.

Copyright 2021 WAVE 3 News. All rights reserved.

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