picture of Frost Middle School

FRM Community, 

Thank you for your continued partnership during this unprecedented school year.  In an effort to prevent the spread of COVID-19, we have been working closely with the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) and the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) to implement a free COVID-19 pooled testing program for students and staff at our school.

 

Pooled testing involves mixing several individuals’ test samples together into one “pool” and then testing the pooled sample for COVID-19. This approach increases the number of individuals that can be tested at one time and allows us to regularly test our school community for COVID-19.

 

The pooled tests will be performed at least once per week with a shallow nasal swab for all participating students and staff members.  PARTICIPATION IS VOLUNTARY.  Schools will receive the pool results within 24-48 hours.  If the result of the pool is negative, then all individuals are presumed to not have COVID-19.  If the result of the pool is positive, then all individuals in the pool must be retested individually.  Because pooled testing does not give individual results, you will only be notified if your child requires follow-up testing.  Our school will be providing the Abbott BinaxNOW Rapid Antigen Diagnostic Tests for follow-up testing, so that students or staff in a positive pool can be tested as soon as possible and receive individual results in 15 minutes.

 

Testing staff has been thoroughly trained on how to administer pooled testing, as well as the Abbott BinaxNOW Rapid Antigen Diagnostic Tests, if they are needed for follow-up testing.  The school nurse will call you if your child is part of a positive pool and requires follow-up testing.  The nurse will also notify you of the individual follow-up test results, if your child is positive or negative and what to do in each scenario.  LPS will report all follow-up test results to the Department of Public Health, and provide positive follow-up test results (without names or other identifying information) to DESE’s Rapid Response Help Unit.

 

To give permission for your child to participate in the COVID-19 Pooled Testing Program at our school, including: *consent to transmit student information via the pooled testing technology platform

*consent for any necessary follow up tests

*consent to share the test result information with the Department of Public Health and Project Beacon (a third party [non-profit] organization contracted to compile consent for testing and to share test results)

 

please fill out the yellow paper consent form you received this week and return by Monday, May 17th.

 

We are extremely grateful to our committed staff and families that continue to show great flexibility and resilience as we navigate through this school year.  It takes all of us working together to contain the spread of this virus.  LPS is excited to add pooled testing as another mitigation strategy for our school community, as we continue to work together toward the safe return of all students and staff to school.

 

If you have questions regarding the COVID-19 Pooled Testing Program please reach out to us.

Thank you!

 

Please see the following link to a video of a second grader demonstrating how to do a self-swab.   

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fJML8xBEKGk