SPS POOLED TESTING NOTICE

September 9, 2021

Dear Parents and Caregivers,

As we have been mentioning in previous communications, Scarborough Public Schools will be offering weekly Pooled Testing for our students and staff who choose to be part of the program as another key mitigation measure. We are reaching out to you now to get consent for your child prior to implementing the program. Particularly as over half of our students are not yet able to be vaccinated and cases of COVID have been increasing across our state, this is a measure that may be of interest at this time, even for those who are already vaccinated.


What is pooled testing?

Pooling can test up to 25 people using one test. Students in a class, pod, or cohort swab their own noses and place their swabs in a single tube (that’s the pooling step). The samples in that tube are then run as a single sample, using one test. See it in action here.


Why pooled testing? Why should my student participate?

You know the old saying: “knowledge is power.” Tools like pooled testing allow us to catch transmission earlier. Without knowing the specific prevalence of COVID-19 in our schools, it’s tough for us to make informed decisions about safeguarding our school community or continuing in-person learning.


State guidance about identifying close contacts also continues to evolve. The most updated information that we have received tells us that unvaccinated students who do not do pooled testing will need to quarantine from school if they are a close contact on the bus or at lunch. Alternatively, unvaccinated students who are deemed close contacts from the bus or at lunch and participate in pooled testing will not need to quarantine from school or after school activities.


Only students with completed consent forms are able to participate in testing. If you do not want your family to participate, your student will not be included in the testing program. Testing empowers us to make these informed decisions about in-person learning and allows students, teachers, and staff to come to school with peace of mind.


How do I enroll my child?

Below you will find the consent form with permission to perform a COVID-19 pooled test for each of your students per school. This sign-up process should take no more than 5 minutes for you to complete using a computer or a smartphone. We also have paper copies available if you would prefer that. Please note that if your child is already 18, they should fill out their own form using the link for adults. If you need to provide consent for more than one child, please complete the process separately for each child. Click on the appropriate link below to access the online consent form. For a screen by screen visual of the sign up process, click here.



Here are the access codes that you will need to input for the school your child attends:

School Name Access Code

Scarborough High School: RED-STORM

Scarborough Middle School: MIDDLE

Wentworth School: WENTWORTH

Blue Point School: BLUE-POINT

Eight Corners School: 8-CORNERS

Pleasant Hill School: PLEASANT

Individuals who have tested positive for COVID-19 in the past 90 days should wait to complete this form and to participate in pooled testing until they are 90 day past the positive test date.


Resources:

* To learn more about pooled testing watch this video from another school using this service or this video of a second grade student demonstrating pooled testing.

* For more information on our pooled testing provider, Concentric by Gingko, visit their website www.concentricbyginkgo.com/families

* This is a helpful fact sheet about pooled testing.


At this time, your sign up information will assist us in planning next steps. More information about the start date for pooled testing at each of our sites will be forthcoming.


Respectfully,

Diane Nadeau, Ph.D.

Assistant Superintendent

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