Pooled Surveillance Testing

Attleboro Public Schools

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What is Pooled Surveillance Testing?

Source pooling is a testing method for SARS-CoV-2 that enables widespread testing by multiplying the number of tests that can be run with the same testing infrastructure. Pooling samples involves mixing several samples together in a "batch" or pooled sample, then testing the pooled sample. This approach increases the number of individuals that can be tested while reducing resources and cost required for testing.

For grades in the hybrid model, pools will consist of 2-3 classrooms. Groups will be clustered by grade and proximity. At the elementary and middle school levels, each classroom will be tested in the same pool after the return to full in-person learning.

Samples are combined in the same tube at the source of collection, sent to the lab, and tested together.

Why is APS Pooled Testing?

Pool testing can identify and isolate asymptomatic carriers of the COVID-19 virus, thus our participation in the Pooled Surveillance Testing Program is an additional safety measure that allows for increased testing capacity at a lower cost with limited resources. It is an essential tool in our efforts for a successful return to school, to identify asymptomatic students, and to control the spread of the virus in our community. This approach provides us with insight into the effectiveness of mitigation efforts within our schools, and if other measures need to be taken. We will continue to monitor and maintain all CDC health and safety recommended protocols throughout the 2020-2021 academic year.

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Reasons to Sign Up for Pooled Testing

Facts

  • Helps prevent community spread by identifying asymptomatic cases
  • Keeps students in school - allows districts to make data - informed decisions by identifying potential COVID clusters
  • Provides assurance that students are learning in a safe environment
  • Provides opportunities for students and staff to get tested in school on a regular basis.

How to Submit Pooled Testing Informed Consent

How do I give consent for my student to participate?

All families must provide consent to the classroom pooled COVID-19 surveillance testing program. You can provide consent by filling out the Consent Form in your Aspen Family Portal.


The Aspen workflow now includes consent for the Pooled Surveillance Testing and the Individual Diagnostic Rapid Testing. If you provided consent for the Pooled Surveillance Testing prior to 1/26/21, you will need to complete this updated consent. Students cannot participate if they only have the first/original consent signed.


For instructions in all languages on completing the consent form, please CLICK HERE. You may also watch the video above for step-by-step instructions.


Need support?

Sarah Angelovski

sangelovski@attleboroschools.com


Kim Janssen

kjanssen@attleboroschools.com

I do not want my child to participate. Do I have to do anything?

Yes, the consent form in ASPEN needs to be completed by all families of students who attend school in-person, regardless of participation choice. Consent can be changed at any time.


CLICK HERE for instructions on the process for families to provide or deny consent to the classroom pooled COVID-19 surveillance testing program.

What is the process from beginning to end?

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1. Pools are determined

2. Students self-administer the test

3. Tests are collected and shipped to the lab for testing

4. Pool test results are shared with school administrators and parents informed accordingly

How is the test administered?

Nasal Swab Self Collection Demonstration

Test Results

We will be communicating the overall results of the pool testing with all families.


(+) Positive Pool Results:

1. Students and staff in the positive pool will then take an individual rapid antigen test. If necessary, it will be followed by a PCR test.

2. Individual positive test results will be communicated to you directly by your child’s school nurse. Those students and staff identified as positive or close contacts will then follow current quarantine procedures.

3. Students in a positive pool who test negative on individual tests will be contacted by the building administration.


(-) Negative Pool Results
We will be communicating with families of students in testing pools with overall positive pool results.

What is the timeline of testing and results?

In the hybrid learning model, testing will take place once a week. Cohort A tests will be given each Monday, and Cohort B, A/B, and C tests on Tuesday.


On Monday and Tuesday morning, students and staff will self-administer their own sample collection. Monday is generally reserved for students in Cohort A and Tuesday is generally reserved for students in Cohorts B, A/B, and C. Samples are sent via courier service 36-72 hours after receiving the priority package, results are delivered electronically through a confidential database to the building administration. At this time, we will review the results and contact appropriate families. This process will begin again the following week.


Once grade levels have returned to full in-person, testing will still be administered once per week. Details will be shared by individuals schools.