Screening Strategy

Want to implement COVID-19 screening in your school? Here’s how.

Colored pencils. Image by Kranich17 from Pixabay.
Massachusetts DESE Pooled Testing Program

In February, Massachusetts’ Department of Elementary and Secondary Education began a six-week program (later extended to 11 weeks) providing free COVID screening via pooled PCR testing for any public PreK – 12 school in the state that is either currently providing some form of in-school instruction or plans to do so. As of February 25, 155 school districts (more than 950 individual schools) had signed up for the program.

Everything You Need to Know About Implementing COVID-19 Testing in Your School
(Shah Foundation)

This toolkit is designed to help Massachusetts K-12 schools implement the screening program set up by the state. If you’re thinking of following one of the Massachusetts Models, it’ll help you make it happen.

Another great place to get started is the
COVID-19 Testing Guidance for School Committees, created by members of the Safer Teachers, Safer Students collaborative.

Want to ask a question about COVID screening? Join the COVID-19 School Testing – Resource Group on Facebook.

Find a School that Matches Yours
A good match. Image by athree23 from Pixabay

If you want to start screening at your school
and would like to be paired with a mentor district, contact me.

Safer Teachers, Safer Students Dashboard

Developed by the data analysis folks at the Safer Teachers, Safer Students Collaborative. Shows which Massachusetts schools are conducting COVID screening, what kind of screening they’re doing and with which vendors, and whether students are remote, in person, or in a hybrid learning model.

The Massachusetts Models

These public K-12 schools have been screening for COVID-19 for weeks or months. Find a district on this list that looks like yours and see how they made it work.

Includes district geography (rural, exurban, suburban, urban) and size, plus the testing services provider and laboratory each district is using.

RAND Corporation logo.
COVID-19 Testing
In K-12 Schools:
Insights From Early Adopters

(RAND Corporation, 02.04.21)

Though aimed at national and state policymakers, this report contains lots of useful information on what it takes to make screening feasible in schools and acceptable to the community. It also includes “ten detailed profiles of schools, districts, and states that have implemented COVID-19 testing in the K-12 setting, [to] illustrate how these facilitators enabled schools to establish their testing programs.”

Rockefeller Foundation logo.
COVID-19 Testing
In K-12 Settings
A Playbook for Educators
And Leaders

(Rockefeller Foundation)

“This playbook is designed to offer detailed, step-by step guidance to help educators, leaders, and their public-health partners put testing recommendations into action.” Developed by Testing for America with support from the Rockefeller Foundation
and the Skoll Foundation.

Colorful US map.
Image from Wikimedia Commons.
State-Run COVID Screening
In Schools

Some states have implemented COVID screening programs in at least some of their schools. Massachusetts’ and Vermont’s programs are the most comprehensive.

The Brooklyn Bridge. Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay.
Testing Services Providers

These companies provide the bridge between the schools and the labs. Their services include software, training, couriers, physician’s orders, staff to handle sampling, and more.

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