Dear Oak parents/guardians,
We are pleased to announce that SPS is expanding its free, voluntary COVID-19 testing program for Oak Middle School Students in cohorts A, B, and C beginning the week of March 8th.The district has contracted with JCM Analytics to provide weekly surveillance testing for all interested students. Please see below for some of the details of the program. More detailed information will follow.
- Completion of an informed consent form for each of your Oak Middle School students is required for participation. The consent form can be accessed by logging into the PowerSchool Parent Portal and clicking the “COVID Testing Consent” link in the left-hand menu. This process should take no more than five minutes of your time. Consent forms must be completed by 5pm on Friday March 5th in order to participate in week 1 testing. Those who miss this deadline but wish to begin participating in the second week must also complete this consent form and can access it at anytime.
- Within 2 business days of signing your consent form, you will receive a follow-up email with further instructions on how to create a unique QR code for your student.
- All OMS students who are attending school in person are eligible to participate. Testing is not mandatory but is highly encouraged as it will provide us with valuable information about the prevalence of COVID in our school community. The more participation we have, the safer an environment we will create.
- There is no cost to families for these tests.
We will utilize pooled testing. Pooled testing involves the collection of individual specimens which are then grouped and tested as a “pool” to allow for more economical testing of large numbers of people. If a pool results as negative, it is safe to presume that all participants in the pool are negative. If a pool results as positive, the existing individual samples will then be tested to determine who within the group is positive, there is no need for a second sample. These results are delivered to SPS within 48 hours, and only the individuals identified as positive will need to quarantine.
It is important to note that pooled testing is intended for people who do not have symptoms and are not known close contacts to a positive case. Anyone experiencing symptoms or known to be a close contact to a positive case must instead follow district protocols for quarantining and individual testing.
Tests will be a self-administered shallow nasal swab. Test kits and instructions will be distributed to participating Cohort A & B students on Monday, students will collect their sample at home on Tuesday morning, and return it to school on Tuesday. Cohort C students will receive their test kit on Thursday, collect their sample at home on Friday morning, and return it to school on Friday. Only students with a signed consent form will be given a test kit.
More information on obtaining and returning the test kit will be communicated to the students in the coming weeks.
Specimens will be assigned to random pools and shipped to the lab for processing, and results will be available within 36-48 hours. You will be notified by a school nurse if your result is positive. You will not receive notification for a negative result (no news is good news!).
For more information on our surveillance testing program please click HERE.
For other questions not covered here or on our webpage you may email firstname.lastname@example.org
SPS COVID Surveillance Testing Implementation Team
Patrick Collins, Assistant Superintendent for Finance and Operations
Noelle Freeman, Director of School Nursing
Karen Isaacson, COVID Operations Coordinator
Ann Lambert, Beal School Nurse
Brian L’Heureux, Director of Information Technology
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