FRAMINGHAM – Less than half the students are participated in the district’s pooled testing program, according to Framingham Assistant Superintendent of Schools Inna London.
London said as of March 16, 46% of the students in the Framingham Public Schools are participating in the pooled testing program.
The Commonwealth of Massachusetts, approved the public school district for pooled testing in January.
The district began using the pooled testing in February when students in Phases 1, 2, & 3 returned to in-person learning. It was then offered to cohorts A & B when they returned to in person learning in March. Pooled testing is not conducted for remote students.
Between March 1-15, Framingham Public Schools conducted 504 pooled tests, including 2,062 students.
As of March 15, there were five confirmed positive COVID cases.
Pooled “tests combine respiratory samples from several students and then conduct one laboratory test on the combined pool of samples to detect SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19,” explained Superintendent of Schools Bob Tremblay in January.
“If a pooled test result is negative, then all individuals within that pool are presumed negative and may remain in school. If a pooled test result is positive, then all individuals in the pool must be retested individually,” said Tremblay.
If any of the individual tests come back as positive, they will appear in the public school district’s coronavirus dashboard. Pooled positive results do not appear in the district’s dashboard.
In the Framingham Public Schools since March 1, there have been 21 positive COVID-19 cases reported.
In total, 69 COVID-19 positive cases have been reported n the public school district during the 2020-21 school year.
Framingham High School leads the district with 18 total cases this school year.
Fuller Middle School is second with 8 cases. and Walsh Middle School is third with 6 cases, 3 reported this week.
Today, March 17 is the deadline for parents to decide if their child will return to school full-time or stay remote.
If a parent chooses not to respond, to the survey, they will be marked as choosing in-person learning for the rest of the school year.
Massachusetts Board of Elementary and Secondary Education voted to empower State Education Commissioner Jeffrey Riley to direct the return of all elementary and middle school students to in-person learning next month:
- Grades K-5 will be returning 5 days a week, every week on April 5, 2021
- Grades 6-8 will be returning 5 days a week, every week on April 28, 2021
Editor’s Note: The digital news outlet requested pooled testing percentage by district and by school. Framingham Public Schools provided it only by district.