Pooled Testing in K-12 Schools
In preparation for the start of the 2020-2021 school year, the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) released a series of guidance documents outlining the key health and safety requirements for in-person learning. These mitigation requirements include rigorous hygiene and handwashing, use of masks/face coverings, physical distancing, reducing interaction between groups, and staying home when sick. In the winter, DESE, in collaboration with the Department of Public Health (DPH), introduced COVID-19 screening testing using a pooled strategy in K-12 public schools and approved special education schools as an additional mitigation strategy.
Pooled testing involves mixing several test samples together in a "batch" or "pool" and then testing the pooled sample with a PCR test for detection of SARS-CoV-2. Participating districts and schools will receive the test kits, support from a testing service provider, and the testing software to track results, all at no cost to them, until April 18, 2021. In most cases, districts and schools will administer the tests using existing staff resources. Following the funded period, districts and schools may continue using pooled testing by purchasing the tests and any other accompanying testing materials, software, or support from a statewide contract using their own funding.
A district or school providing any type of in-person instruction, such as full in-person or hybrid instructional models or in-person services for high needs students, is invited to participate in this initiative. In addition, districts and schools that are currently in a remote instructional model but intend to return to in-person learning are also invited to participate. Private and parochial schools are not able to participate in the early launch, but they are able to purchase tests, materials, and software directly from testing services providers.
Questions can be directed to . firstname.lastname@example.org
Documents for Schools Participating
Districts and schools that are interested in participating should complete the Application to be an Authorized School. Applications are being accepted on a rolling basis. We encourage districts and schools to apply as soon as possible to take full advantage of the state-funded portion.
Pooled Testing in K-12 schools Memo, January 22, 2021
Application to be an Approved School
Application to be an Approved School — School Spreadsheet
Statement of Assurances
Pooled Binax PCR Model Standing Order February 10, 2021 (CIC Health, Project Beacon)
Pooled Binax PCR Model Standing Order February 10, 2021 (Ginkgo)
Districts and schools using Abbott BinaxNOW for follow-up testing, should complete the Readiness Checklist found on the Abbott BinaxNOW section of the DESE webpage.
Sample Consent Forms for Pooled Testing
Student Consent form — Ginkgo
Student Consent form — CIC Health, Project Beacon
Staff Consent form — Ginkgo
Staff Consent form — CIC Health, Project Beacon
Pooled Testing Letter for Parents
Pooled Testing Letter for Parents Spanish
Pooled Testing FAQ — Updated 2/9/2021
Pooled Testing Implementation Strategies Webinar Recording, February 10, 2021
Pooled Testing in K-12 Schools Webinar Slides, February 10, 2021
Pooled Testing Implementation Strategies Webinar Recording, January 29, 2021
Implementing Pooled Testing Strategies Webinar Slides, January 29, 2021
Abbott BinaxNOW Informational Webinar Recording, January 26, 2021
Pooled Testing Informational Webinar Recording, January 22, 2021
Pooled Testing in K-12 Schools Webinar Slides, January 22, 2021
Pooled Testing Webinar Recording, January 12, 2021
Pooled Testing Initiative Webinar Slides, January 12, 2021
Pooled Testing in K-12 Schools Memo January 8, 2021
Abbott BinaxNOW Preconditions and Readiness Checklist
Last Updated: February 24, 2021