Information about K - 4 POOL TESTING PILOT at WINN BROOK this Tuesday
18 October 2021

Information about K - 4 POOL TESTING PILOT at WINN BROOK this Tuesday

Dear Winn Brook Families,

As Superintendent Phalen shared in his message on Friday, Winn Brook is scheduled to pilot Pool Testing. There is a great deal of information below. Please read through it carefully. There is also a link to a short video to share with your child.

Our first run will be this Tuesday, October 19th. We are able to pilot pool testing in all grades K-4 due to the additional help of the National Guard.

Only students whose parents/guardians have consented to pool testing prior to today will be able to participate in the pilot this Tuesday. 

What is the process for student Pool Testing?

  • Classroom teachers will be given a list of students whose parents have consented to testing. Only these students will be tested.
  • CIC staff will come to each class with a cart and set up outside of the classroom. We have created a schedule so that this is as least disruptive as possible.
  • Students who have consent will step into the hall in small groups to be swabbed. 
  • Students will be asked to blow their nose, sanitize their hands, then swab their nose. Students can self-swab in grades 1-4 with direct supervision. Kindergarten students will be assisted with swabbing.
  • Testing will consist of a double nasal swab.

How can you help prepare your child?

Please review this short video to better understand the process. Teachers will also be showing this video in school.

Testing is quick and painless. It may feel a bit strange, but once students get used to testing, it will quickly become part of our daily routine on testing days.

How are we supporting students that don't get tested?

Students may have questions as to why not everyone is part of the testing. Suggestions we have provided to staff for addressing these questions are to provide age-appropriate short responses such as, “testing is something that some families are choosing to do at school”.

It is also important to remind students that Pool testing does not mean that people are sick. Testing some students is a way of keeping us safe like wearing our masks and washing our hands, but not everyone has to test. You can also direct students to ask their families if they have questions about testing.

If other questions come up with students or if teachers are looking for additional support to help address concerns with a particular student, they will reach out to our nursing and/or mental health team; Mary Carbeck, Joanna Colton, and Kim Miller.

What resources are available for students and families? 

This video from CIC Health gives an overview of the benefits and process of Pool Testing.

What is the process for students in the Test and Stay Program?

Students who are symptom free and have been identified as a close contact (0-3 feet) of a positive case while at school will participate in daily testing for a total of 5 school days (actual days may vary depending on the day of exposure).

Only students whose families have consented to testing will be tested at school. Students who have not consented will be required to quarantine at home.

Students in the Test and Stay program will be called to the clinic by the school nurse for testing and returned to class. Results are available in 15 minutes after the swab is taken. Students will be returned to class immediately after the swab is performed.

You will be notified if a result from either the Test and Stay or the Routine COVID Pooled Testing comes back positive. You will not be notified about negative results.

For more information on our testing program ,please visit the BPS Testing Page. If you have any questions, concerns, or suggestions, please feel free to reach out at any time.

Summary

  • We are piloting Pool Testing at Winn Brook this Tuesday.
  • Pool Testing helps us with early detection. 
  • If your child participates in pool testing, they also can participate in "Test And Stay" in the event that they are identified as a close contact and are symptom free.
  • Only students whose families have opted in will be tested.
  • Only positive results will be shared. You will not be contacted if your child's test is negative.

Thank you,

Anita Mecklenburg