Grants and Other Financial Assistance Programs

FY2021: Supplemental Funding for Pooled Testing Services

Fund Code: 108


In preparation for the start of the 2020-2021 school year, the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) released guidance 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. On January 22, 2021, the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) and the Executive Office of Health and Human Services (EOHHS) announced the launch of a statewide initiative for pooled testing 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. Districts and schools participating in the statewide pooled testing initiative are receiving 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.

The purpose of this targeted grant is to provide supplemental funding to districts and schools that began testing operations or had preexisting contracts for pooled testing services prior to the launch of the statewide program.


This grant is intended to support districts and schools that began testing operations or had preexisting contracts with pooled testing vendors prior to the announcement of the statewide Pooled Testing program.


Any district or school that began pooled testing operations or had a signed contract for pooled testing services on or before January 22, 2021, the launch of the statewide initiative. Testing services will be reimbursed for services rendered between February 8, 2021 through April 18, 2021.

Funding Type:

Federal CFDA: 84.425


Funding is contingent upon availability. All dollar amounts listed are estimated/approximate and are subject to change. If more funding becomes available it will be distributed under the same guidelines that appear in this RFP document.

The total allocation per grant will be determined by DESE and based on the rates negotiated in the statewide pooled testing initiative. A number of factors will be used to determine the reimbursement rate, including number and frequency of pools, size of pools, third party onsite support, etc. Reimbursement rates will not exceed the rates as identified below:

Type of ServiceCosts
Pooled test fee (per pool)5–10 swabs: $50
 11–25 swabs: $85
Setup fees (one time)$800
Admin / customer support fee (monthly)$250
Fund Use:

Funds must be used to pay for the administration of pooled testing from February 8, 2021 through April 18, 2021.

Project Duration:

Upon approval* – 4/18/2021

*The start date on the grant cannot be before grant submission in EdGrants, however, applicants can shift expenditures as of 2/8/2021 to offset pooled testing costs with journal entries.

Program Unit:

Office of Strategic Transformation, Center for District Support


Lauren Woo

Phone Number:

(781) 338-3563

Date Due:

Wednesday, March 31, 2021

Required Forms:
Download Word Document
Part I — General — Program Unit Signature Page — (Standard Contract Form and Application for Program Grants)

Required Contract Upload: Districts and schools must upload their executed contracts and a sample invoice between the district/school and the pooled testing vendor. Pooled testing operations or signed contracts must be in place on or before January 22, 2021 for testing administered between February 8, 2021 – April 18, 2021. Testing contracts, invoices and submission materials must include the following components:

  • Cost per pool
  • Pool size
  • Frequency of testing
  • Number of staff and students tested per week or number of pools administered weekly
  • Other costs associated with pooled testing. These costs must be itemized, and the frequency must be identified (i.e., one-time, monthly, or weekly, etc)
    • startup fees
    • testing administration costs
    • transportation of tests from school to laboratory
    • 3rd party onsite support (hourly rate and number of hours per week)

Districts and schools awarded under this RFP will be required to submit weekly data report using the template found in Attachment A Download Excel Document.

Additional Information:

Information regarding the statewide Pooled Testing Program can be found on the Pooled Testing section of the DESE website: COVID-19 Testing Program.

Submission Instructions:

Complete the Application Submission through EdGrants by the dates listed in the Due Date section above.

In EdGrants, districts are required to create and name the project. Please use the following naming convention for your "Applicant Project Name" in EdGrants:

FY21 FC108 Pooled Testing Services (Applicant Name)

All items listed under the required forms section of this RFP should be uploaded / attached in the Attachments List of the Application Submission in EdGrants. This includes a signed / scanned PDF of Part I / Coversheet with Superintendent's signature as well as the signed pooled testing vendor contract and Attachment A.

For Guidance Documents regarding EdGrants, visit EdGrants: User Guides, Information and Trainings.

Last Updated: February 12, 2021

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Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
75 Pleasant Street, Malden, MA 02148-4906

Voice: (781) 338-3000
TTY: (800) 439-2370


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