Pool Testing FAQs

What information has been sent to families?

Ms. Paluk sent the following letters to families;       English      Spanish      Portuguese 

Is there a cost? Must my student(s)/I (AFK staff) participate?
There is NO cost to participate in this program. It is optional for all staff and students. Completion of an online profile and consent is done through the Project Beacon website. There are a few guidelines for participation in the pool testing;

  • A student must be in-person/hybrid at least two days a week.
  • A student/staff member must not have tested positive for COVID-19 in the last 90 days.
  • A student/staff member must be asymptomatic. (Anyone with symptoms of COVID-19 or ANY illness should stay home and follow District Protocols.)

When would Abby Kelley conduct “Pool” Testing?
Testing would be done once per week, likely the first day each cohort  Maroon Mondays, Gold Thursdays) returns to in-person learning. Students/Staff who have elected for full remote learning will not be eligible for testing. 

What does the test consist of?
Under the supervision of and with assistance from our District Nurses and/or support staff, students/staff will gently swab their nostrils with the Q-Tip like swab. (The process is not invasive, the swab will not be inserted into the nasal cavity.) We anticipate most students will complete this process themselves, with supervision. After swabbing, the swab will be combined with additional swabs from students and/or staff within the building and sent to a lab for testing. Please note, no swabs are labeled with a students or staff’s name at this stage in the testing process. Project Beacon has shared a video of the testing process. 

What happens if the “pool” is positive?
Testing is completed within 24-48 hours when the “pool” sample arrives at the lab. If all swabs in a “pool” are negative, no further action is necessary.  If a “pool” tests positive for COVID, everyone included in that “pool” will be retested using a Rapid Test swab. The Rapid Test swabs will be identified by name, to determine the positive individual. As with each COVID positive case within the District, your school’s nurse will contact families as needed to advise them of their next steps. 

Do students and staff need to quarantine until the pool test results are returned?
Pooled testing provides surveillance testing capabilities to schools; students and staff participating do not have to quarantine unless a positive individual-level follow up result is returned. 
 

What day does the testing happen? Where in the school will this occur? 
We encourage families/staff to register for this optional testing so we can gauge the interest and finalize the rest of the details specific to AKFCS.  These logistics will be addressed when we have a better understanding of the number of individuals who will be participating in the testing.  We will share this information with you once you have registered to participate, through this webpage.

How do I sign my student(s) or myself (AKF staff only) up to participate in Abby Kelley's Pool Testing?

You must create a profile* with Project Beacon, the State's leading COVID-19 testing partner who is now helping schools in Massachusetts with thier Pooled Testing programs. No student or staff will be tested without proper consent, as part of the registration process, you will electronically sign the necessary consent forms. 

*If you have a Project Beacon account (due to previous tests for COVID-19) you need to log out of the exisiting account before you begin.

  1. Go to the Project Beacon website.
  2. In upper right corner click Sign Up/Registrate.
  3. Click Register For A New Account.
  4. Enter an email or phone number. 
  5. A message will appear that you have Activated your Account. You will be emailed and texted an activation link. You will need to go to that link in your email or text messages.
  6. Click on link in your email or text messages from Beacon Testing; Activate your Account. 
  7. Follow the steps through the email or text message, create and confirm your password. Once you have completed these steps you will be set to create as many student profiles as you may need.
  8. Select Secondary Profile “I am registering for someone else” (only if you are registering a student).
  9. Enter information for your student as required.
  10. Click the "I have an Organization Code" button.
  11. Enter the AKFCS Student Organization Code- DRJYUU (Staff were emailed their code) for the Pooled Testing Program.
  12. The next screen is your consent form, check the box at the bottom to accept.
  13. Each student will require thier own profile to be created for them, which can be down on the drop down menu with your student's name, select "Create Patient Profile".

This link automatically adds AKF Staff/your student to the appropriate testing program for Abby Kelley.  You will not need to schedule any testing, we will do that at school each week. 

For additional questions, Project Beacon has created an FAQ for Parents for K-12 Pooled Testing.

Who should I contact at Abby Kelley with questions?

Your student's school Nurse is available to answer your questions; Nurse Melissa ext. 3604 (Elementary School), Nurse Wendy ext. 2604 (Middle School), Nurse Sara ext, 4604 (High School)