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Information for Schools & Districts

The following sections provide additional information regarding the logistics of the Screening Program, as it pertains to School & District admininistrators & leadership.

Jump to sections on this page:

1. How does the Screening Program work?

2. Opting into the Program

3. Benefits of offering the program? 

4. Program Background

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


How does the Screening Program work? 

This section describes how the testing program operates at the student body and district levels.

School districts are understaffed and overworked. The program is as hands off as possible, with virtually no additional work for your staff.

Moreover, the program is flexible in how it operates. If you’d like to make adjustments before opting your school or district in we would be happy to look into accomodating these changes.

Schools & Districts

After opting into the program:

  • You will be provided with pre-built communications to send to your families regularly. Communications can be provided in any language or format.
  • Office staff may review pre-built staff talking points to gain basic program understanding. However, questions can be directed to the SCoPE Lab. Willingness to spread program awareness increases testing equity and participation.
  • Sign-ups are built and managed by the SCoPE Lab. Your school is not responsible for handing out testing kits.
  • Free-standing drop-off boxes will be placed in each school.  Typically, in or near the main office and are not to be monitored by staff. Participants submit samples themselves.
  • Testing reports are available for download in your LabDash account. The report contains the total number of tests received and the number of positive test results. All student information has been de-identifiable, per OHA and HIPPA regulations.  However, we call each  positive and instruct them to contact the school to report the positive result.


After the school / district has opted into the program:

  • Students 16 years of age can sign themselves up for the program and create their own accounts.
  • Students under 16 need to have a parent/guardian fill out the consent form, create an account at, and add the student as a dependent.
  • LabDash is the HIPPA Certified result reporting portal.
  • We will mail PCR saliva testing kits directly to the student’s home.

Student’s complete the following steps to  provide a sample:

  1. Students physically collect their saliva sample in the privacy of their homes.
  2. Then “collect” their sample in Linking their test tube to their name.
  3.  Return the sample to the school’s drop-off box. Typically, found in or near the main office. Saliva is viable for up to 7 days.
  • Samples are picked up from the school on a designated pick-up day, returned to the lab, and tested for the presence of the COVID-19 virus.
  • Results are uploaded to the LabDash account within 24 hours of the lab recieving the sample.

Students may repeat steps 1-3 each week they wish to submit a sample.

Specific testing and laboratory questions can be directed to the SCoPE Lab.

Additional examples, of how other states and institutions have set up a Screening Program based on Testing Task Forces can be found by downloading these PDFs:

The Rockefeller Foundation
Open and Safe Schools

Identifying Your Testing Team by Open and Safe Schools


Opting into the Program

Opting in with OHA

All schools or school districts that wish to participate in the program will need to fill out a short 2 minute consent form with the Oregon Health Authority.

You can access the consent form here or on the OHA’s website.

Opting in with SCoPE

An individual from your school will need to contact the SCoPE Lab to inform us of your participation.

We will schedule a short 30-minute meeting to discuss the logistics of onboarding your school or district.

Contact us at 503-769-3234

Ask to speak with the following individuals: Carrie Barton or Alysha Bramhall

We look forward to partnering with you!

Create a Sponsor Account

Create a Sponsor Account for your school here or by going to and navigating to “Sponsors”. This will take 2 minutes to complete.

We look forward to partnering with you in our mission to enhance the wellbeing of our students and communities, by increasing equitable access to testing through this valuable & free resource!


Benefits of offering the Program? 

This is the only preventative program offered for COVID-19.

Every student deserves freedom from the disruptions caused by the virus.

The virus is more transmissible, mask mandates have been lifted, and the cold/flu season is here. We can protect our routines by using the screening program as a tool to take control of outbreaks.

Below is a list of ways that the district, students, and their families may benefit from opting into the Screening Program:


Benefit to the District

  • Reduced school closures
    • Early detection of positive cases allowing for early intervention strategies, mitigating the spread of the virus.
    • Reduced fiscal consequences of school closures
  • Reduction in workload on school and district nurses.
    • No need to monitor sign-ups, distribute testing kits, record results, or generate reports.
  • Improved test scores when disruptions to academic learning are alleviated.
    • More face-to-face learning allows for increased comprehension, hands on learning styles, and in-person help with areas of difficulty and struggling students.
  •  Pioneering equitable testing and healthcare access in your institution.
    • Students who otherwise may not have access to healthcare or testing services now have access to this free valuable resources.
  • Higher positive regard among vulnerable populations in the community.
  • Providing students with additional opportunities to work with the hospital in a mutually beneficial relationship as Student Ambassadors.

    Benefits to the Students & Families

    • Opportunity for students to work with the hospital and receive volunteer hours, letters of recommendation, and more!
    • Reducing school closures
      • Keep parents in work and minimize the cost of  childcare and time off.
      • Focused hands-on learning, social skills, safety, meals, mental health, and access to other resources.
    • Saliva samples reduce testing discomfort and anxiety.
    • Peace of mind after exposure to large gatherings or high-risk environments
      • Athletics, choir, band, theatre, and clubs can screen before & after practices, games, and performances.
    • Socialization with peers and high-risk family members.
    • Access to concerts, games, cruises, international travel, and other events that require a negative PCR tests.
    • Minimal disruptions to daily routines.
    • Keeping mask mandates away.

      We believe your child deserves freedom. They have the right to be a kid, not wear masks, not  worry or deal with outbreaks, to get an education, to see their friends and family.

      They have the right to the daily life they know and love.


      See the CDC’s page on School Testing for COVID-19 for more information.


      Program Background

      This section will provide you with some background information on how the screening program came to be, what it is, and who is able to participate.

      Origins of the Screening Program

      On March 26, 2021, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced an additional $10 Billion for states to fund screening for COVID-19 in schools. Oregon chose to add a supplement to their already existing Epidemiology and Laboratory Capacity (ELC) grant, of which Santiam Hospital was a recipient. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services gave the task of organizing and administering Oregon’s portion of the new funding to the Oregon Health Authority (OHA).

      At the time, Oregon’s K-12 schools had just begun limited in-person learning for students after more than a year of operating virtually. With no working model of a K-12 weekly screening program to reference, fears of another school shutdown imminent. OHA decided to create a program that operated based on a regional laboratory model.


      Regional Laboratory Model 

      Oregon decided to adopt a regional laboratory model, meaning they would partner with local laboratories throughout the state, rather than using reference laboratories- the model used by many other States.

      Keeping test processing at a local level permitted trusted institutions within communities to care for their own communities. Leading to faster result turnaround times, increased surge capacities, and tailored outreach and communications. 

      The Santiam Hospital Scope Lab based out of Sublimity, OR was assigned, by OHA, a portion of region 2 testing. Region 2 consists of the Santiam Canyon, Stayton, Sublimity, Aumsville, Marion, Turner, Jefferson, Salem-Keizer, Silverton, Mt. Angel, Aurora, Gervais, and St. Paul. All districts and schools, both in-person or virtual, serving these areas are welcome to opt into the Screening Program through the Santiam Hospital Scope Lab.


      Screening Testing 

      Most individuals are familiar with diagnostic testing, testing to receive a diagnosis. However, our testing program is not meant as a diagnostic tool. Rather, it is the only program that helps to stop outbreaks before they happen, with screening testing. 

      Screening testing, is testing for individuals without symptoms of COVID-19 or exposure to COVID-19.

      By testing weekly, regardless if the student is feeling sick, we can catch positive cases early- especially in asymptomatic individuals. Early detection allows for early intervention and mitigation strategies. Stopping outbreaks before they lead to undesirable consequences.


      Learn more from Safe and Open Schools about why clear, consistent communications is critical to building support for the testing program within your community.

      Open and Safe Schools
      Identifying Your Testing Team by Open and Safe Schools
      The Rockefeller Foundation
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