APS News Release

APS to Launch Online Student Symptom Screener on Monday, March 1

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Arlington Public Schools, in consultation with the Arlington County Public Health Division, has developed an online symptom screener for students. APS is using the Qualtrics platform to pre-screen staff and student health prior to arrivals at bus stops and at schools. This screening will help streamline the arrival process, track important health information, and help protect the health and safety of our staff, students, and families.

Beginning March 1, all parents/guardians will receive a daily online symptom screener, developed using Virginia Department of Health guidance, to complete for each student. The daily screening and exposure questions will be sent to every parent/guardian via email and text at 5:30 a.m., regardless of if your student is in distance learning or in person. The health screening tool is available in English, Amharic, Arabic, Mongolian and Spanish.

The questions must be completed before a student arrives at the bus or attends school or school-based activities. If the symptom screener has not been completed prior to arrival at a bus stop or school, the student will be required to complete it with the bus or school attendant during arrivals, before being allowed to start the day.

Health Screening Steps and Results
The screener includes screening questions and one acknowledgement form.

  • Health Screening Questions: The first screen includes yes or no health-related questions about fever, cough, and other symptoms, as well as any reported close contacts, COVID testing or positive results. Questions below:
    • Does your student have a fever (100.4°F or higher) or a sense of having a fever?
    • Does your student have a new cough, shortness of breath, or difficulty breathing that cannot be attributed to another health condition?
    • Does your student have any new chills, sore throat, or loss of taste or smell that cannot be attributed to another health condition?
    • Does your student have any new muscle aches (myalgia) that cannot be attributed to another health condition or specific activity (such as physical exercise)?
    • Is your student currently awaiting COVID-19 test results?
    • Has your student or anyone in your household had a positive test result for the virus that causes COVID-19 disease within the past 10 days?
    • Has your student had close contact (within 6 feet for 15 minutes or more cumulative) with someone in the past 14 days with suspected or confirmed COVID-19?
  • Acknowledgement Page: The second screen requests agreement and commitment to adhere to APS health mitigation strategies.

As a member of the Arlington Public Schools community, I agree that my student and I will:

1. Immediately notify Arlington Public Schools if my student develops symptoms of COVID-19.
2. Encourage proper hand hygiene.
3. Maintain appropriate physical distance between myself and others, as much possible (at least 10 feet with physical activity and 6 feet for all other cases).
4. Limit physical contact between myself and others, as much as possible.
5. Wear a face covering consistent with Arlington Public Schools policy unless exempt.
6. Limit touching of surfaces to only when is necessary.

If you answer NO to all health screening questions and respond “I agree” to the acknowledgement form, your student will be cleared for in person attendance with a green checkmark. Show the screener result to the bus driver or school attendant when you arrive at the school.

If you answer YES to any one the screening questions, your student will not be cleared for attendance and you will receive a red X follow up email with step-by-step instructions regarding how to proceed.

Who Must Complete the Screener
We are asking all families to complete the screener, whether your student is in distance learning or in person, so that APS can capture complete and accurate data regarding the health of the school community. This screener will be used for monitoring and reporting close contacts, reported positive cases, COVID-like symptoms and other illnesses, and attendance among all APS staff and students.

Symptom Screener Frequency
The system cannot separate school days from additional activities so all families will receive the messages every day of the week. It is important that the screener be completed on weekends prior to participation in weekend athletics or other school-based activities.

Additional Information
Watch the Screener Tutorial in English and Spanish for a step-by-step view of the process and health screening questions.An Overview of Screening Process and Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) are available online.