Pooled Testing

TO: RSU 63 PARENTS
FROM:  SUSAN SMITH, SUPERINTENDENT/DIRECTOR of CURRICULUM & INSTR.
RE:  POOLED TESTING
DATE:  FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 10, 2021

RSU 63 seeks to maintain a safe environment for students, staff, and the community. To support that goal, we are participating in a COVID-19 Pooled Testing program.  Pooled testing is very important when it comes to keeping students in school.  Pooled testing is optional and free for all RSU 63 employees (including drivers) and students who attend the Eddington, Holden, and Holbrook Schools.  This quick NewsCenter Maine clip explains Pooled Testing.

We started Pooled testing on Tuesday, Sept. 7th (all our pools were negative for COVID) and will continue every Tuesday. 

We are asking families and staff members to participate in this program to help safeguard the wellbeing of our entire school community.   If you have not already registered/provided consent for your child(ren) and would like them to participate in pooled testing, please follow the link and the steps below. The registration and consent process should take no more than 5 minutes to complete using a computer or a smartphone.  If you need a paper registration/consent form, please contact Shelley Wyman (swyman@rsu63.org or 843-7851ext. 1).

In order to be in the pools this coming Tuesday, September 14th, your child must be registered no later than Sunday evening (9/12).  However, you may sign your student up at any time throughout the school year. 

To Register a Student:

  1. First, click here (https://testcenter.concentricbyginkgo.com/minor-consent). This is the link to register a student.
  2. Enter your child’s information and their school’s access code:
    1. Eddington’s code is 2MF8WL
    2. Holden’s code is UZW187
    3. Holbrook’s code is G4A8XL
  3. Read and sign the consent form.   

Note: If you need to provide consent for more than one child, please complete the process once for each child.

RSU 63 will be using a rapid antigen test to provide “quick tests” for all individuals in a positive pool.  BinaxNOW rapid testing will be used only for follow-up rapid testing in the event of a positive pool.

Below is information from the Maine DOE regarding COVID testing in schools.  Additional information can be found at https://www.maine.gov/doe/covid-19/toolkit#pooled

What is pooled testing?
Pooling can test 25 people using one test. All students in a class or group (called the pool) swab their own nose and place their swab in a single tube (that’s the pooling step). The samples in that tube are then run as a single sample, using one pool test.  IF the pool tests positive for COVID-19, everyone in that pool is tested using the BinaxNOW rapid test. 

Why pooled testing? Why should my student participate?
​​​​​​​You know the old saying: “knowledge is power.” Tools like pooled testing empower us to make better decisions. Without knowing the specific prevalence of COVID-19 in our school, it’s tough for us to make informed decisions about safeguarding our school community, returning to school, or continuing in-person learning.  Testing empowers us to make these informed decisions and allows students, teachers, and staff to come to school with peace of mind.