“POOLED TESTING” FOR SARS-CoV-2 FOR HYBRID STUDENTS AND ALL L.P.S. EMPLOYEES WORKING IN-PERSON

This is William Cameron, the Superintendent of Schools in Lenox.    An e-mail version of this message is being sent to you, as well.  In addition, a copy of this message will appear on the websites of the Lenox Public Schools, Morris Elementary School, and LMMHS.

The Lenox Public Schools is examining the feasibility of utilizing what’s called “pooled testing” of students and staff for the novel coronavirus, also known as SARS-CoV-2. Testing will be done weekly at school in order to check for the presence of the virus among those physically at school.

Participation in this testing is voluntary. No one will be tested without her or his having submitted a written consent form. The testing is quick, simple, and painless. Its reliability as a means to detect even small traces of the virus is high. There is no financial cost to students or employees.

We will hold two virtual informational meetings regarding pooled testing. The first will be on Wednesday, March 3, at 5:30 PM; the second will be in Thursday, March 4, at 7:00 PM. We plan for each meeting to last up to one hour. We have scheduled these meetings on successive days at different times with the hope that that one time will be more convenient for you than the other. The Zoom invitations for these meetings will be posted on the district’s and schools’ websites the day of the meeting.

Consent forms in English and Spanish will be sent to all parents and guardians of students attending the Lenox Public Schools, preK-12, after the second informational meeting.

The greater the number of students and employees tested weekly, the greater the likelihood that the virus is not spread at Morris or LMMHS. Although the district’s conducting such testing throughout the end of the school year will likely cost a good deal, it seems a worthwhile effort for us to make to better ensure the safety of all hybrid model students and school staff, and thereby the community at large.

As always, please stay safe by wearing a mask, maintaining a safe distance between yourself and those who are not members of your household, wash or sanitize your hands frequently, and avoid large groups of people.

Our school nurses and I look forward to having an opportunity to explain the testing procedure to you via Zoom on either March 3 at 5:30 PM or March 4 at 7:00 PM. Thank you for your attention.

 

Here are the recorded Zoom sessions for the two pooled testing webinars:

Video of March 3rd session

Video of March 4th session