Extending and expanding LS pool testing at no cost

Extending and expanding LS pool testing at no cost
Posted on 03/15/2021
Dear LS Students and Families,

Since the first week of December 70% of all students in Cohorts A and B and 100% of all school staff have been enrolled for weekly COVID pool testing. We will have successfully completed 17 rounds of weekly testing of students and staff by the end of March. Thank you to our families who were able to pay $180 per student to support this initiative and to the LSPO for fundraising to cover financial assistance for all families who had requested it. Thank you to all of our partcipants and congratulations to everyone for this cooperative effort!

As you know we are planning to bring all students back to school fully in person this spring. 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 state wide population becomes vaccinated and opportunities to gather outdoors increase due to improving weather. For us to bring students back more fully in person distancing between students in classrooms will change from about 6 feet in most classrooms to 3 feet edge of seat to edge of seat. We are also looking forward to more in person activities. This will be a big change for all of us!

As part of our preparation for this change I am excited to announce that as of the start of April due to the availability of additional COVID relief grant funding we will be able to extend pool testing at no additional cost to all participants including those who have not yet enrolled. DESE will also be granting a credit for the cost of pool testing related to the number of tests done per week to districts that have been actively pool testing as of January 8. I strongly encourage you to take advanatge of this service.

Consistent participation in pool testing has provided us important assurance that it is safe to be in school especially when we experienced brief spikes of infection within our school community. As we plan for a full return I encourage all current enrollees to continue testing through the spring and for all remaining students to newly enroll in the program. When we return to school fully in person we will still be wearing masks, maintaining distancing in the classrooms and when eating lunch. Broader participation in the pool testing program will enhance the assurance of safety and security in school for everyone.

Current enrollees do not need to resubmit any new paperwork to continue testing past March.

To newly enroll to start on April 5 we ask that you sign and send the attached consent form to your child’s house assistant by Wednesday, March 31 : East toni_benhaim@lsrhs.net, North jamie_silberzweig@lsrhs.net , South Doreen_mccarthy@lsrhs.net , or West Colette_nygren@lsrhs.net . Newly enrolled students will also be able to bring the informed consent with them on their first day of testing however it will take an extra bit of time to enroll them on the spot. Here is a link HERE to WiTT #6 information session about the LS COVID Testing Program. Here is a link to the update provided at the December 1st LS School Committee meeting.

https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1lS8XcvdoeHFpvHYI6lHOnsKKZx7SovDZ6HUgLO9_EL4/edit?usp=sharing

Please feel free to send any questions to me at bella_wong@lsrhs.net .

Thank You,

Bella Wong

informed consent