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SRVUSD: At-home Covid tests for district students run out ahead of schedule

17,000 of 30,000 tests distributed on first day, planned Jan. 10 distribution canceled

The San Ramon Valley Unified School District ran out of rapid tests to distribute to students on Friday, Jan. 7, the second day of distribution, leading to the cancellation of today's distribution for parents and guardians who could not get to a distribution Thursday or Friday.

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The district announced on Jan. 4 that 30,000 kits with two rapid antigen tests per kit would be distributed to SRVUSD students ahead of plans to return to in-person classes Jan. 11 in the midst of the surge of the omicron variant that took off during the holiday break.

After announcing more than 17,000 of the 30,000 tests were distributed on Thursday, the district followed up with an announcement that there were no more kits available for pickup at about 2 p.m. on Jan. 7.

The rapid tests were set to be distributed only to students in the district, with community testing available by appointment at the Education Center in Danville for staff, teachers, and family members in addition to students.

"We do not have kits available for parents/caregivers or for children who do not attend our schools," district officials said in the Jan. 4 announcement.

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Prior to the start of the first day of distribution on Jan. 6, the district sent an additional announcement emphasizing and clarifying eligibility for the free rapid tests, including that tests were available only for students in the district, and only one kit with two tests was allocated per student.

The announcement added that staff and volunteers would only be able to distribute tests to one household per car, and asked community members to try to stop anyone who might not be following these requirements.

"If you hear of anyone who is considering stopping by a distribution site to pick up a kit for someone who is NOT an SRVUSD student, please ask them to not to do so, as supplies are limited to the number of students we have enrolled," the district's Jan. 6 announcement said. "We really appreciate our community’s collaboration and trust in this process."

After distributing more than half of the 30,000 test kits on the first day, the district announced on Jan. 7 that it would be cancelling the distribution planned for Jan. 10, and that no more tests were available to pick up.

"We are so appreciative to our community of families, volunteers, custodians, warehouse staff, and other district employees who participated in the mass distribution of our student test kits," district officials said in the Jan. 7 announcement. "It was an enormous undertaking that successfully saw all 30,000 test kits distributed in a two-day event. The traffic lines were long at times, but everyone who came through our four distribution sites was patient and thankful for the test kits."

Officials acknowledged that the speedy distribution process meant that not all families were able to pick up tests before supplies ran out, and announced an additional, students-only test day at Iron Horse Middle School on Jan. 10 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., with 1,000 appointments available, asking that they be reserved for students who weren't able to pick up test kits on Jan. 6 or Jan. 7.

However, the district's problems were compounded over the weekend as the booking platform used for these appointments, Agile, was overloaded and went down at times, making it appear that no more appointments were available, according to social media posts from the district.

District superintendent Dr. John Malloy would not respond to a request for information or comment about what percentage of students were able to pick up test kits, why kits ran out before every student who wanted one had one, or what measures the district had taken to ensure that tests were only distributed to SRVUSD students.

Without official information from the district about these measures, or what led to the apparent shortfall in tests, community members were left to speculate in social media comments about what might have led to the problem. While many voiced support and appreciation for the largely volunteer-run effort that had gone smoothly, others raised concerns that tests hadn't been fairly distributed as planned.

"I am surprised they did not have some list or something to be more accountable," Jennifer Prindiville wrote in a comment on a Facebook post from the district announcing that there were no more tests available for pickup on Jan 7. "Now saying everyone that’s left can go get tested is not equitable and will only assure more people will not when they would have at least tested before returning to school with an at home test. Very poor planning."

In a response to another commenter, who asked if more tests would be available to distribute in the future, the district said on Monday that they were "continuing to proactively check into our options for this, but at this time, none are available," adding that they were looking for ways to increase the availability of rapid test appointments.

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Jeanita Lyman
Jeanita Lyman joined the Pleasanton Weekly in September 2020 and covers the Danville and San Ramon beat. She studied journalism at Skyline College and Mills College while covering the Peninsula for the San Mateo Daily Journal, after moving back to the area in 2013. Read more >>

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SRVUSD: At-home Covid tests for district students run out ahead of schedule

17,000 of 30,000 tests distributed on first day, planned Jan. 10 distribution canceled

by / Danville San Ramon

Uploaded: Mon, Jan 10, 2022, 5:15 pm

The San Ramon Valley Unified School District ran out of rapid tests to distribute to students on Friday, Jan. 7, the second day of distribution, leading to the cancellation of today's distribution for parents and guardians who could not get to a distribution Thursday or Friday.

The district announced on Jan. 4 that 30,000 kits with two rapid antigen tests per kit would be distributed to SRVUSD students ahead of plans to return to in-person classes Jan. 11 in the midst of the surge of the omicron variant that took off during the holiday break.

After announcing more than 17,000 of the 30,000 tests were distributed on Thursday, the district followed up with an announcement that there were no more kits available for pickup at about 2 p.m. on Jan. 7.

The rapid tests were set to be distributed only to students in the district, with community testing available by appointment at the Education Center in Danville for staff, teachers, and family members in addition to students.

"We do not have kits available for parents/caregivers or for children who do not attend our schools," district officials said in the Jan. 4 announcement.

Prior to the start of the first day of distribution on Jan. 6, the district sent an additional announcement emphasizing and clarifying eligibility for the free rapid tests, including that tests were available only for students in the district, and only one kit with two tests was allocated per student.

The announcement added that staff and volunteers would only be able to distribute tests to one household per car, and asked community members to try to stop anyone who might not be following these requirements.

"If you hear of anyone who is considering stopping by a distribution site to pick up a kit for someone who is NOT an SRVUSD student, please ask them to not to do so, as supplies are limited to the number of students we have enrolled," the district's Jan. 6 announcement said. "We really appreciate our community’s collaboration and trust in this process."

After distributing more than half of the 30,000 test kits on the first day, the district announced on Jan. 7 that it would be cancelling the distribution planned for Jan. 10, and that no more tests were available to pick up.

"We are so appreciative to our community of families, volunteers, custodians, warehouse staff, and other district employees who participated in the mass distribution of our student test kits," district officials said in the Jan. 7 announcement. "It was an enormous undertaking that successfully saw all 30,000 test kits distributed in a two-day event. The traffic lines were long at times, but everyone who came through our four distribution sites was patient and thankful for the test kits."

Officials acknowledged that the speedy distribution process meant that not all families were able to pick up tests before supplies ran out, and announced an additional, students-only test day at Iron Horse Middle School on Jan. 10 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., with 1,000 appointments available, asking that they be reserved for students who weren't able to pick up test kits on Jan. 6 or Jan. 7.

However, the district's problems were compounded over the weekend as the booking platform used for these appointments, Agile, was overloaded and went down at times, making it appear that no more appointments were available, according to social media posts from the district.

District superintendent Dr. John Malloy would not respond to a request for information or comment about what percentage of students were able to pick up test kits, why kits ran out before every student who wanted one had one, or what measures the district had taken to ensure that tests were only distributed to SRVUSD students.

Without official information from the district about these measures, or what led to the apparent shortfall in tests, community members were left to speculate in social media comments about what might have led to the problem. While many voiced support and appreciation for the largely volunteer-run effort that had gone smoothly, others raised concerns that tests hadn't been fairly distributed as planned.

"I am surprised they did not have some list or something to be more accountable," Jennifer Prindiville wrote in a comment on a Facebook post from the district announcing that there were no more tests available for pickup on Jan 7. "Now saying everyone that’s left can go get tested is not equitable and will only assure more people will not when they would have at least tested before returning to school with an at home test. Very poor planning."

In a response to another commenter, who asked if more tests would be available to distribute in the future, the district said on Monday that they were "continuing to proactively check into our options for this, but at this time, none are available," adding that they were looking for ways to increase the availability of rapid test appointments.

Comments

H
Registered user
San Ramon Valley High School
on Jan 11, 2022 at 6:56 am
H, San Ramon Valley High School
Registered user
on Jan 11, 2022 at 6:56 am

More dishonesty and/or poor planning by Dr. Malloy and SRVUSD. The district counted the number of TESTS and not the number of BOXES - there were two tests in each box. On Friday, they claim to have handed out 17,000 boxes. Site was open from 10AM until 1pm or 3 hours. Here is some basic math 17,000 boxes DIVIDED BY 3 hours = 5666 and two thirds. Divide that by 3600 seconds per hours and we get 1.6 boxes per second. Are we really to believe that SRVUSD handed out 3 boxes every two seconds for three hours straight? The math doesn't make sense. Also, if they had supply for three days, why did they give 100% of the inventory to the distribution sites on day 1? Why wouldn't they supply 1/3 of the inventory per day to ensure fair distribution?

The answer is pretty clear - SVUSD didn't have enough to go around. Instead of being honest with the community, SRVUSD administration just did wha they do best - lie and point the finger at anyone and everyone except themselves.

SRVUSD should go back to focusing on educating students. Right now with Dr. Malloy's focus seemingly more on being a medical doctor than an educator, his district is failing now at both providing health service and education to the children of the community. Perhaps the team there should focus on their jobs educating children as opposed to looking everywhere for excuses to not.


Steve Westcott
Registered user
Danville
on Jan 11, 2022 at 8:16 am
Steve Westcott, Danville
Registered user
on Jan 11, 2022 at 8:16 am

Your math is assuming one person only is handing out all those kits. If it's 20 people, then it's completely acceptable.


H
Registered user
San Ramon Valley High School
on Jan 11, 2022 at 12:52 pm
H, San Ramon Valley High School
Registered user
on Jan 11, 2022 at 12:52 pm

There were four distribution sites and people remained in cars. The 1.6 boxes per second still holds but for four places and not twenty. Each car was served one at a time and it is not known if each site had an equal number of tests given to it. So, let's call it 8 boxes per second per site to be extremely generous. That still doesn't work! The only way that would work is if the cars didn't stop moving!


Lala
Registered user
Danville
on Jan 12, 2022 at 10:58 am
Lala, Danville
Registered user
on Jan 12, 2022 at 10:58 am

It was not required by our district to test the students before they returned to school. It was a courtesy on the part of the district. I was in and out of the district office on Thursday at noon in under a minute from the time I turned into old orchard road. The only time I actually stopped my car was for the brief second to say I had two kids and receive the two boxes.
If the district had done a check list, then the complaints would've been the long lines that people didn't want to sit in. Damned if you do, Damned if you don't. The district did a great thing getting as many test kits as they did into our hands. Again, tests results were NOT required for any student to return to SRVUSD after break.


Tee Kay
Registered user
Danville
on Jan 14, 2022 at 4:16 pm
Tee Kay, Danville
Registered user
on Jan 14, 2022 at 4:16 pm

I think this shortage came from 1) the lack of being able to screen if you actually had a child(ren) who attend a SRVUSD school currently; 2) not being able to check off each student who received a test; and 3) those who went from one drive-through to another (and maybe another) to get more tests than were allocated per family. Those of you who took more than your fair alotted share are the real problem; not the district itself. Shameful, disgusting, and selfish individuals ruined it for the good and honest families hoping to get the hard-sought-after tests in this area.


H
Registered user
San Ramon Valley High School
on Jan 15, 2022 at 7:51 am
H, San Ramon Valley High School
Registered user
on Jan 15, 2022 at 7:51 am

Tee Kay -

Is it the district's responsibility to actually plan an orderly distribution? No!! It's the COMMUNITY that's wrong ...

The district could hand out 1 laptop per child when harmful and ineffective remote learning was ordered by the trustees. Why couldn't they do the same here? The answer is simple - they didn't have enough test to go around. So, SRVUSD district leaders pointed the finger at the community instead of taking responsibility themselves - just like they have always done since Dr. Malloy took over.


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