The drug testing program that was introduced last year has been postponed until November, as the school is prohibiting visitors, including drug testers, from being on campus to reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19.
“We will suspend drug testing until we feel that health conditions allow it,” Head of School Dave Baad said. “This is a very fluid situation in which metrics and conditions change, so it is difficult for us to clearly define what that might look like.”
As of now, the administration believes that drug testing will not take place before school pictures, which at the moment are scheduled for on Nov. 9. If restrictions are lifted, the drug tests could occur soon after that according to Head of School Henry Heil.
“I don’t totally feel comfortable with having extra visitors on campus so early on in the year because of all the COVID-19 precautions,” sophomore Ella Sjogren said. “I think the testing is important but not as important as the students’ health right now.”
When testing resumes, it will not require as many participants because only new students, including the whole freshmen class, will be tested, and random tests will be conducted among the rest of the high school. This narrows the number of people being tested from around 430 to approximately 140.
If a student who is learning remotely gets chosen randomly, they will be expected to come to school to get tested unless they have a significant health issue. As of now, the administration is focusing its energy on keeping everyone in the community healthy.
“We are not in any hurry to figure [the logistics] out moving forward,” Head of Upper School Henry Heil said. “We just want everyone to be tested [at least] once.”