Free LS Pool Testing to start April 5

Free LS Pool Testing to start April 5
Posted on 03/27/2021
Dear LS Students and Families,

Approximately 70% of all students and 100% of all school staff have been enrolled for weekly COVID pool testing since the first week in December. By the end of March we will have successfully completed 17 rounds of weekly testing of students and staff. We thank all of our families who paid $180 per student for this initiative and to the LSPO for fundraising to cover financial assistance for all families who had requested it. A huge thank you to everyone for this cooperative effort!

As of the start of April due to additional COVID relief grant funding we will be able to extend pool testing at no additional cost to all participants. In addition, DESE will be extending a minimal amount of funding to school districts for the cost of pool testing to districts that have been actively pool testing as of January 8.

We are planning to bring all students back to school fully in person on 4/26. Rates of COVID infection in the state have improved since the height of winter and are now comparable to November. We hope rates will continue to improve as more of our population becomes vaccinated and we all have increased opportunities to be outdoors due to improving weather. For us to be able to bring students back more fully in person, distancing between students in classrooms will change from close to 6 feet in most classrooms to 3 feet. This will be a big change for all of us.

We have been hybrid in person since mid- September with brief shifts to all remote learning. Consistent participation in pool testing has provided important assurance to our community that it is safe to be in school. As we anticipate bringing students back to school fully in person for those who can be, I encourage all current enrollees to continue testing through the spring and for all remaining students to newly enroll.

This email provides further information for everyone in our school community about the testing program and to let you know we will continue to enroll new participants on a rolling basis. Starting in April the only requirement to participate in pool testing is the submission of an informed consent form if you do not already have one on file. It is preferable that these are submitted no later than the Friday prior to the next sample collection, but these will be accepted on the day of sample collection as well.

These are the sample collection dates projected for April and May:

4 / 5 and 4 /6

4/12 and 4/13

4/22 Thursday during April School Break

4/27, 5/4, 5/11, 5/18, 5/25 Shift to Tuesday collection only

To enroll as a new participant to pool testing sign and send the attached consent form to your child’s house assistant: East [email protected], North [email protected] , South [email protected] , or West [email protected] .

Here is a link to the update provided at the December 1st LS School Committee meeting.

I thank you for your continued participation. And I encourage new participants to join! I thank members of the LS School Committee, LS Staff and LSPO for a concerted effort to launch our new COVID surveillance testing program. I strongly encourage you to consider participating if you have not already enrolled. Please feel free to send any questions to me at [email protected] .

Thank You,

Bella Wong

informed consent form