Information for Schools & Districts

To start a testing program, most schools should develop a Testing Task Force.
Jump to sections on this page:

1. Creating Your Testing Task Force
2. Creating Your Plan
3. Preparing to Launch
4. Launch Your Program
5. Program Continuation
Folks Creating a Testing Task Force for K-19 Covid Testing

Information for Schools & Districts

To start a testing program, most schools should develop a Testing Task Force.
Jump to sections on this page:

1. Creating Your Testing Task Force
2. Creating Your Plan
3. Preparing to Launch
4. Launch Your Program
5. Program Continuation
Folks Creating a Testing Task Force for K-19 Covid Testing

1.

Creating Your Testing Task Force

This section describes the personnel you should designate before you begin to design and implement your testing program.

Identify individuals to form a “Testing Task Force” that, along with Santiam Hospital SCoPE Lab, will design, implement, and continuously improve your testing program. Your Testing Task Force will ensure that your program is manageable with the resources available and that it is widely communicated to parents, staff, and students. These are the suggested roles and key responsibilities of task force members, which can be adjusted based on the size and scope of the program.

Your team should be composed of the following roles. Each role should require about 1 to 5 hours of work per week, depending on responsibilities, and should not be a burden on any particular member. If it does become burdensome, please speak to the SCoPE lab about how we can help alleviate these pressures.

District/Testing Program Manager

(this is usually the district nurse or other district personnel):

  • Serves as liaison to the superintendent and the school board
  • Has direct communication with the SCoPE Lab, knows what information and supplies are expected from all parties. Is the main point of contact between the district/school and SCoPE
  • Will know what the school’s needs are, such as languages for forms, number of collection kits, drop box sizes and locations and then communicate this information to Scope
  • Review the list of students who opt into the program, keep track of their consent forms, and sign up as the Sponsor for their District/School in Labdash
  • Will also know what information the Laboratory needs from the district or school and be able to gather that information effectively

School Coordinator

(usually a school office staff member):

  • Will be responsible for communicating the necessary information from their school to the District Manager
  • Serves as the primary point of contact to answer questions and provide information for the staff, students, and families of their school
  • Collects feedback from school’s parents/guardians and staff on ways to improve the testing program, communicates this information to the District Manager
  • If the District Manager cannot be reached they will be the contact for the laboratory, and may need to make notifications about exposures
  • Will complete the Courier Information Form, providing all required information

School Testing Facilitator

(usually a school office staff member or other member of school staff):

  • Will have access to the school’s Smartsheet sign up forms, is responsible for tracking student participation and keeping the form confidential
  • Will know school’s testing dropoff/pickup dates and times
  • Will store and keep track of supplies, distribute kits to those who have filled out the consent form and collect kits when they are ready
  • Serves as primary point of contact for the Scope courier, communicating drop box location, changes to test pickup/dropoff schedules, and resupply of kits

Outreach Lead

(usually a district/school communications employee but some roles could be volunteer):

  • Develops a communication strategy to increase parent/student involvement in the screening program
  • Holds forums for parents and families to explain testing strategy and generate confidence in community
  • Coordinates information-sharing between all stakeholders through the appropriate points of contact
  • Develops and maintains community reporting and dashboarding functions
It’s important to establish a Task Force early in the screening program development process. This strategy should include an agreed communication plan, how information will flow to and from members, the role of each member in each step of the program design, and who the final decision makers are.
It would be helpful to have each member of your Testing Task Force educated about the testing program so they can answer basic questions regarding the policy and procedures of the individual institutions. (E.g. where is the drop box, what time does it get picked up, how do I sign up, how do I get results) Specific testing and laboratory questions can be directed to the SCoPE Lab.
Additional guidance for setting up a Testing Task Force can be found by downloading these PDFs:
Open and Safe Schools
Identifying Your Testing Team by Open and Safe Schools
The Rockefeller Foundation
Open and Safe Schools
The Rockefeller Foundation
Identifying Your Testing Team by Open and Safe Schools

2.

Creating your Plan

This section describes what your school or district’s responsibilities will be for each week and how best to structure your testing and communication schedules. Each school or district is able to personalize their testing plan and will need to make decisions on how to efficiently organize and manage their teams.

Define your Screening Testing Objectives

  • Which students will you be testing? Certain grades, schools, groups or your entire population?
  • What goals are you trying to achieve with screening testing? Do you want to keep positivity rates down, assure the community the school is safe for their children, or something else?

Outreach Lead

  • It is important to inform your staff, the community, and parents about your Screening Testing Program
  • Make a plan of action that includes how and when you will communicate about your program. Include emails, forums, FAQ’s, and other media to share information with your target audiences
  • Pick a week when you would like to start testing and work back from there, knowing that it takes about 3-4 weeks to plan and implement the program
Learn more from Safe and Open Schools about why clear, consistent communications is critical to building support for the testing program within your community.

3.

Preparing to Launch

Now that you have a plan ready, it’s time to gather all the materials you’ll need to roll out your testing program. The bulk of your outreach and information for families will need to be prepared ahead of time so it can be given out efficiently when you’re ready to begin Testing.

Setting up LabDash

  • Create your Sponsor account for your school/ district
  • Become familiar with the program and your responsibilities
  • Learn how the testing process and reporting will work so you can interpret the information properly

Scheduling and Calendar

  • Once you become familiar with LabDash and the weekly testing process, you can start scheduling pick up/drop off dates for tests supplies
  • Create a schedule through applications like Google calendar to help your team stay up to date on important weekly events
  • Create a routine to help the testing process run smoothly, and make sure to keep families in the loop so they know when to turn in tests
  • Decide where you’ll store the test kits and place the collection box

Preparing your Media Package

  • Determine what pamphlets, posters, flyers or other forms from the SCoPE lab website you’d like to use for your roll out
  • Download/print out your preferred forms, and contact SCoPE Lab to get any assistance needed in tailoring forms to your schools needs
  • Email/ handout all the information to participating families in preparation for launch

Helping Families Sign Up

  • Get the word out about the program and help parents/guardians set up their labdash or fill out other forms
  • Get a count of your participants so you can let the Scope lab know how many tests you will need
  • Prepare your handouts, emails and any other materials you’ll need to send to families to help them learn the process
  • Download our PDF for more resources to help families sign up for LabDash and enter samples.

Test Materials

  • Last checks and making sure your drop off dates are set
  • Make sure you have a clear collection plan ready and staff know what their role is
  • Find an appropriate place to store sample materials until you are ready to distribute
See the CDC’s page on School Testing for COVID-19 for more information.

4.

Launch your Program

Distribute Sample Collection Kits

  • Have your families take them home
  • Make sure to answer any questions about sample taking and collection as early as possible
  • If needed, hand out kits earlier then needed so you have more time to field questions

Collect Samples and Hand Off to SCoPE

  • Safely gather the now used test kits and get them ready for pickup
  • Make sure to wear any necessary gear when handling full sample kits
Learn more from Safe and Open Schools about why clear, consistent communications is critical to building support for the testing program within your community.

5.

Program Continuation

Interpreting LabDash Results

  • Make sure to look over your schools test results to monitor possible positive results and spread
  • Check in on LabDash when you get an email saying new results are ready, you’ll be able to see the results from each test cycle as they become available
  • Download our PDF on How to Find and Read LabDash Results

Weekly Schedule

  • Repeat the steps from roll out consistently, and be sure to stay on schedule
  • Stay in contact with SCoPE Lab so you stay updated and informed of any important information
  • Keep your calendar and team up to date so everyone is in the loop

Keep Families Informed

  • Keep communication channels open with families and community, be ready to answer questions as they come up
  • Encourage those who haven’t signed up to do so, the more of your school that tests the better informed you’ll be
  • Establish a routine and keep to it, keep your school safe and your students cared for
It’s important to know that results from LabDash will only tell you how many positive cases your school has, Parents/guardians will be the ones informed if their student tested positive. It will then be their responsibility to inform the school of their students positive results
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