COVID Pooled Testing


Why participate? How can my child participate? Top 5 Reasons to Participate in COVID pooled testing
Four Myths Debunked
Pooled Testing details (includes video) 

Informational materials

Frequently Asked Questions



COVID-19  testing is an effective way to reduce transmission, especially when layered with other precautionary measures such as universal masking, upgraded ventilation, social distancing and sanitization. Knowing the specific prevalence of COVID-19 in our school allows us to make informed decisions about safeguarding our school community and continuing in-person learning. 


The Mountain View Whisman School District is partnering with Concentric for simple, pooled COVID-19 testing for students weekly and rapid antigen testing for staff members on campuses.


Why should children participate in testing? The more students and staff who participate in the program, the more effective it will be.  * Participation helps safeguard the wellbeing of our entire school community, as well as give you information to help you keep your loved ones healthy.

* Students who participate may have a modified quarantine and continue to attend school (if requirements are met) if there is a positive test result in the pool - thus reducing time out of school and missed instruction.

Top 5 Reasons to Participate in COVID pooled testing on MVWSD campuses


  1. Keeps students in school: Those who test negative on the rapid test, after a positive pool test, may continue to come to school if they meet modified quarantine criteria. Those who do not participate in on-campus testing will be required to quarantine at home for 10 days following exposure or receive testing outside of MVWSD - which almost always results in missed school days while parents wait for appointments.
  2. Safe: Under a nurse’s supervision, students will briefly lower their masks to gently swab each nostril a specific number of times, making the time the mask is lowered extremely brief.  Students will be tested outside while socially-distanced from their peers.
  3. Effective: COVID-19  testing is an effective way to reduce transmission, especially when layered with other precautionary measures.
  4. Easy: Participants swab their own noses under the supervision of Concentric nursing staff. Swabs are collected in classroom groups and sent for COVID testing. Parents do not have to make appointments and drive students to outside tests.
  5. Helps the community: Participation helps safeguard the wellbeing of our entire school community, as well as give you information to help you keep your loved ones healthy.


Three Myths Debunked: COVID pooled testing on MVWSD campuses

  1. It hurts - False: The on-campus testing program uses short swabs that do not have to go far into the nose. Students gently swab their own nostrils, controlling the amount of pressure, a specific number of times.
  2. Kids can’t do it without adult help - False: This type of testing has been done across the country. Even the youngest students complete the nose swabs successfully under the supervision of nurses. 
  3. It’s unsafe - False: The swabs are sealed and sterile. Before touching the swab, students will sanitize their hands. After students open the packaging, they lower the mask for an extremely brief time to swab. The swab then goes into the pool testing tube. Nothing is introduced into the nose from the swab.


How can my child participate?
You received a link to an online consent form from MVWSD in which you can select "yes" or "no" to the question asking if you give consent for testing. The link was sent to parent emails #1 and #2. After the consent is submitted, subsequent parent logins will show "survey not available."

If you would like to give or change your consent, please contact your school office.


The testing details

Click here for a video showing what testing will look like. (Spanish video)
Covid test video thumbnail

Method
Participants swab their own noses. Swabs are collected in classroom groups and sent for COVID testing. Concentric staff will be present to ensure appropriate testing procedures. Students lower the mask to swab each nostril a specific number of times, making the time the mask is lowered extremely brief.  
Timing

Testing will occur weekly for students and vaccinated staff. 


Participants

* All students whose parents have consented to testing. Only students who have parents’ consent can participate. A student's pool will consist of members of the his/her classroom. These groups will remain the same, as much as possible, throughout the school year. 
*
All teachers and staff members (Staff members who are unvaccinated are required to be tested daily). Contracted teachers and staff members (paid by MVWSD) would be included in regular testing. Contractors who aren’t paid by MVWSD (CSMA, Rhythm and Moves, mentors, etc) will be asked to get tested weekly outside the District.


Results

If the pool is positive for COVID, all members of the pool will receive an immediate, rapid COVID test provided by Concentric. 


Those who test positive on the rapid test will start isolation. They should contact their doctor for next steps. For more information on testing and quarantine, please see this webpage.


Those who test negative on the rapid test, after a positive pool test, may continue to come to school if they meet modified quarantine criteria.
Those who do not participate in twice a week testing during this period will be required to quarantine at home for 10 days following exposure or receive testing outside of MVWSD - which will likely result in school days missed while parents wait for appointments.


For more information on COVID testing outside of school and quarantine guidelines, please see this webpage.


Notifications and response times

The District receives the aggregate result of the pool; not individual participants’ results. Results are typically received in 24-72 hours. The District will notify parents if their student tests positive, or if their student was a "close contact" to a positive case in the pool. No notification means your student is not positive or was not exposed.


Informational materials

Sample consent form (In Spanish)

Parent Info Sheet

Pooled Testing Brochure
Video: How students complete testing
concentric video thumbnail


Frequently Asked Questions


How does Concentric, pooled testing at school keep kids from missing school days?
The advantage to consenting to Concentric, pooled testing is that your child will be included in modified, in-school quarantine in case there is a positive exposure.  If students don't participate in testing, parents are then responsible for COVID testing on a set schedule.  COVID testing outside the Concentric, pooled testing will likely mean delays in testing/results and the an increase in the likelihood that students will have to miss school. The advantage to school testing is that it's more timely and meets the deadlines of Day 1 and Day 5 requirements for modified, in-school quarantine.
Is it possible to join the program at a later date or is this the only opportunity?
Should a family consent at a later time, the student would be included in testing pools once the consent is provided. Consent would need to be received by MVWSD the Wednesday prior to the week the student is to begin testing.

My child is young. Will he/she get help with the test?

The nose swab process is easy, and children are capable of doing it. Concentric staff will be present to ensure appropriate testing procedures and help direct students, if needed.


How will pools be formed in middle schools where students don’t have a unique classroom?

We'll test students at a specific time of the day and keep the same pooled group for testing throughout the year.


How do you keep my student’s information private?

Concentric (the testing company) will never use test results for any reason other than to help your school make decisions about safeguarding its community and continuing in-person learning. Concentric provides pooled test results directly to schools and minimizes access to results to only people authorized by each school.

MVWSD is bound by privacy laws, like the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, that strictly limits the data that we can release. Our district safeguards the privacy of individuals and only releases the data required by the county for reporting and notifications. The County of Santa Clara is required to protect your/your child's information according to confidentiality laws.


How accurate are the tests?

Molecular tests like the Concentric pooled test are typically highly accurate at detecting the virus that causes COVID-19. They validated the pooled test by comparing its performance against an FDA-authorized “gold standard” PCR test. The Concentric test correctly identified 96% of the positive tests detected by the PCR test and 100% of the negative tests (meaning that there were no false positives). The pooled results in the study matched the expected individual results 100% of the time.


While we understand a positive test result can cause concern, a positive result means the routine testing program is doing exactly what it was designed to do: monitoring pockets of infections. This can help our schools stop or mitigate potential outbreaks.


We don’t want to participate in testing at school. Can we use a home COVID test?

Per Santa Clara County guidelines, MVWSD cannot accept at-home COVID test results because these tests may produce inadequate sample material and could be damaged by improper handling, thus producing false results.
Will parents receive the results of the Concentric pooled classroom tests?
The District receives the aggregate result of the pool; not individual participants’ results. Results are typically received in 24-72 hours. If there is a positive, rapid COVID tests will be done. Results are typically received on the same day. Parents will be notified of positive cases/exposures to positive cases.
If any of the students in my child’s class/pool test positive, are my kids not supposed to participate in extracurriculars/after school programs for 10 days even if they do not test positive on day 1 or day 5?
If students are exposed to a positive case and assuming on-time testing and negative results on Day 1 and 5 after exposure:
Vaccinated students may do an in-person, modified quarantine at school and have no restrictions on whether they can participate in afterschool care/ activities. 
Unvaccinated students may do an in-person, modified quarantine at school and may not participate in afterschool care/ activities. May return to after school activities on Day 8 if tests taken on/after Day 5 after last exposure is negative.
Unvaccinated students, who are exposed outside of school, must quarantine at home for the full 10 days and cannot do afterschool care/ activities.

Website by SchoolMessenger Presence. © 2021 Intrado Corporation. All rights reserved.