Small Saratoga County school takes charge of its own COVID testing

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BURNT HILLS – Every school in Saratoga County is partnering with the county to conduct in-school COVID testing, except the Charlton School. There’s very good reason for that.

Sitting on 275 acres in Burnt Hills, the Charlton School is a residential and day school for girls between 12 and 18 years old, from all over the state.

Most of the 41 students there are coming from psychiatric hospitalizations. Many stay in a boarding school type setting.

"They are confused, they’re trying to figure out who they are, and so our job is to help them navigate that," said Alex Capo, the school’s leader. That’s why it was so important when the pandemic hit its peak to keep the school open.

In December 2020, the school on its own reached out to Quadrant Biomedicals to get the supplies needed to conduct COVID saliva testing right at school.

They spent $2,000 to buy the materials for pool testing and asymptomatic testing.

Capo says every staff member, every student and every family was on board.

"That felt like our mission, to stay open during the pandemic," said Capo.

Shutting down and moving to remote learning just wasn’t an option.

Learn about some of what the school offers, and hear Capo’s advice to other school leaders who are unsure about the quadrant testing by watching the video of Subrina Dhammi’s story.