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Covid-19 Test Plan 2022-23

This COVID-19 Testing Plan is established and updated as needed to meet requirements of SB 1479.

Background: Bill SB1479 requires each local educational agency to create a COVID-19 testing plan, or adopt the State Department of Public Health’s framework. Santa Barbara Charter School has a combination of both as outlined in the SBCS COVID-19 testing plan below. This plan is for both the classroom-based and HomeBased Partnership programs.

Santa Barbara Charter School follows guidance from the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) and Santa Barbara Public Health around COVID-19 testing. Rapid Antigen Testing remains a key mitigation strategy to detect and curb transmission of COVID-19 in school settings. Keeping students and staff safe and in school remains the top priority.

All students and staff are provided with free Rapid Antigen Over the County (OTC) tests. All families of students and staff are encouraged to maintain at least 2 boxes of tests (4 tests) at home at all times and request refills through the office or classroom teacher as needed.

COVID-19 Rapid Antigen Test Contacts:

Primary Testing Point of Contact: Cristina Cullen, Director of Operations

Secondary Testing Point of Contact: Laura Donner, Director of Education

Education: Staff and families are provided testing guidance and expectations by school site administrators, based on ongoing and updated guidance from the CDPH and SBPHD.

Testing Expectation: Students and Staff should test when COVID-19 symptoms are present, following high-risk activities and/or as recommended by Public Health (i.e. outbreak and exposure testing).

Access: All students have tests sent home on a regular basis and are provided refills when tests are taken, and upon request. Extra tests are sent home when additional testing is recommended by Public Health, such as an outbreak or for CPDH’s return to school testing recommendations following holidays and school breaks.

Reporting and Monitoring: All staff, parents and guardians are required to notify office staff of positive results by calling the school office or via email to

The below is from CDPH School COVID-19 Testing Framework: K-12-Schools-for-the-2022-2023-School-Year.aspx

The following are recommended practices for California districts, schools, and county offices of education:

  • COVID Testing Point of Contact: Cristina Cullen

  • Review and reference current testing recommendations provided in the CDPH K-12 School COVID Guidance and any additional recommendations or requirements provided by the Local Health Jurisdiction.

  • Maintain situational awareness of the testing resources and programs offered by the CA Testing Task Force and monitor availability of pre-positioned testing resources housed with a County Office of Education or Local Health Jurisdiction for rapid distribution to schools.

  • Monitor the CDC’s COVID Community Data Tracker as a method of identifying when to increase or reestablish school testing operations.

  • Communicate any questions, concerns, or additional operational testing resources/needs to the CA Testing Task Force at

The following list describes operational considerations for COVID-19 testing for K-12 schools:

  • California is currently offering direct ordering of COVID-19 over-the-counter (OTC) tests to schools. Schools may use OTC tests to supplant on-site testing in many situations. Such efforts should be paired with educational materials to facilitate proper OTC use, particularly in communities with limited English proficiency and/or lower health literacy.

  • California also offers COVID-19 OTC tests to all county offices of education (COEs) for use by public and private school students and staff for return from various prolonged school holiday break testing, such as summer and winter breaks. California Department of Public Health (CDPH) has communicated with COEs about a 2022-2023 Winter Break distribution; for more information, please contact your local COE or email

  • CDPH recommends that antigen tests be considered the primary option for detecting COVID-19 in schools, rather than PCR tests. Both the professional, on-site antigen tests as well as the OTC at-home antigen tests have been effective in identifying persons who have infectious levels of all known variants of SARS-CoV-2. PCR tests are highly sensitive, but their utility is greatest as a confirmatory test in appropriate situations and/or in clinical settings.

CDPH recommends that antigen tests be considered the primary option for detecting COVID-19 in schools, compared to PCR tests.

SBCS Additional Testing Information:

Take-home COVID-19 Test Kits: We have a free supply of the at-home COVID-19 test kits and send them home with students as needed, as well as before each break. At this time, at-home COVID-19 Antigen kits are recommended for initial COVID detection. These tests can be a useful tool in helping stop the spread of COVID-19. At-Home testing kits can help minimize potential outbreaks in our schools by detecting positive individuals before they return to classes. We are asking families to test for COVID with an at-home test prior to returning to school after each break. We will send a Parent Square or email reminder to test before returning after breaks. Here are the testing/illness protocols:

Step 1: Get the materials:
Test kits are free and will be sent home the week before each break. Test kits are also available in the office as needed. Let us know if you need one or more for family testing.

● Step 2: Test your student (or yourself if you are a staff member):

Students and staff members who do NOT have ANY illness symptoms and have not had a known exposure to someone with COVID-19 should test the day before returning to school. If you have ANY illness symptoms please STAY HOME and test. If your result is negative, test AGAIN once your symptoms have improved or resolved. (Low amounts of virus early in infection can sometimes be missed by a test, and the test can be positive a few days later.)

● Step 3: Share ONLY POSITIVE test results with the school: For STUDENTS with POSITIVE results:

When a confirmed positive case of COVID-19 (call the office to let us know 805-967-6522):

  • Return to school on Day 11 from symptom onset if they are fever-free for 24 hours with no fever-reducing medication and symptoms have improved OR
  • Return to school as early as Day 6 with a negative test (on or after day 5; antigen test preferred) and are fever-free for 24 hours with no fever-reducing medication and symptoms have improved.

● Step 4: Understand your test results:

If the test is NEGATIVE: Student or Staff feels well and has NO illness symptoms, return to school. If a student HAS symptoms, please call the school office before you return EVEN IF THE TEST WAS NEGATIVE. More testing may be needed. If the test is POSITIVE: STAY HOME and contact the school office to receive direction on when to return. If the test results are not clear or appear invalid: Retest at home making sure to follow directions closely or go to a local testing site.

PCR Testing offered via Aptitude: SBCS students, families and staff can register with Aptitude Labs for free, insurance-based PCR testing. Aptitude Labs can also provide on-site testing prior to field trips, or if the school conducts surveillance testing.

Additional Information:

SBCS will keep in-house tracking sheets of COVID-19 positive cases.