LEXINGTON, Ky. — While more than 1,200 students are in quarantine, Fayette County Public Schools (FCPS) has announced a Test to Stay in School program.

The Test to Stay in School program aims to help keep students in the classroom after potential COVID-19 exposure.

What You Need To Know

  • Fayette County Public Schools launches a new program to keep students in class

  • Currently more than 1,200 students are in quarantine

  • A Lexington mother of two is looking forward to the program

  • The Test To Stay in School program aims to help keep students in the classroom after potential COVID-19 exposure


Mother of two Kara Staed explains the challenges COVID-19 has imposed on families.

“My daughter also suffers from a little bit of a speech impediment and has had issues with that during COVID[-19]. It was really hard for her to get any kind of treatment because we were at home so trying to do it over a computer was kind of difficult,” Staed said. 

Her younger daughter is in second grade now at Breckinridge Elementary.

“When she was able to go back (last March), it was nice because she had that interaction. They can see your mouth move, they could help her better because it actually felt like she was getting more behind at home because we didn't have access to those places to take her anywhere because a lot of things were shut down,” Staed said.

She’s looking forward to the Test to Stay pilot program. 

Mother of two Kara Staed is looking forward to the Test to Stay pilot program. (Spectrum News 1/Khyati Patel)

FCPS launched the program in an effort to reduce the amount of instructional time students lose while quarantined. The optional program is being piloted at five elementary and two middle schools. It’s in partnership with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, the Kentucky Department of Health, and the Lexington-Fayette County Health Department. 

“So now with the ability with this (Test to Stay), you have the option you know my child say they were in a room with somebody with COVID[-19], but they're negative they've showed no symptoms for them to still be able to go to school, and not miss out on a week or two of in-class learning versus at home,” Staed said. 

The guidance document for the program outlines the details on the quarantine protocols for students without symptoms of COVID-19. It shows Test to Stay in School protocol is only available to students quarantined due to an in-school exposure. Students who are close contacts to a case in the household or outside of school must follow the other quarantine guidelines.

“I like the idea of being able to still send my child to school as long as they're not sick, and are not going to hurt anybody else because I don't want anybody else to get hurt either. I mean, it said we don't want to lose anybody in that we don't have to,” Staed said.

The schools participating in the program are Breckinridge, Clays Mill, Dixie, James Lane Allen, and Julius Marks Elementary schools, as well as Crawford and Jessie Clark Middle Schools.

The rapid PCR testing is free and will be on campus before school on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, starting next week.