In accordance with the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) and the Department of Public Health (DPH), our district is updating our COVID-19 Testing Program, and these new protocols will be phased in beginning on January 26, 2022. We are opting in to an at-home testing program that will increase testing of our participating students and staff, regardless of vaccination status. For more information about this update to the statewide testing program, please read the New COVID-19 Testing Program Option for K-12 Schools memorandum. The at-home testing option will begin January 31, 2022, for staff and February 2, 2022, for students. In addition to this new at-home antigen test option, we will be able to offer optional symptomatic testing during the week. As part of this shift in the program, we are discontinuing Test and Stay and contact tracing for in-school close contacts as of February 4, 2022, for all students and staff. This means that, as of February 4th, if your child is a potential contact in school, they may continue to come to school and do not have to quarantine. This new at-home testing opportunity is voluntary, and only those who opt-in to this program will receive tests. We respectfully ask that you submit the form by January 31st to opt-in. If you have questions, please contact your school’s nurse.
DESE has indicated to districts that after collecting data on contact tracing and testing for the past two years, it was determined that close contacts in school are unlikely to contract or spread COVID-19 in school. The goal of this expanded testing program is to focus state and local resources on understanding who is potentially infectious with COVID-19 and enabling them to self-isolate at home to reduce the spread of COVID-19 to others. Even though the risk of spread in school is considered low, it is important that we continue our current mitigation efforts that have successfully enabled school districts to remain open during the pandemic. We expect the DESE Commissioner to re-evaluate the mask mandate prior to February 28, 2022, and these updated testing protocols prior to April 22, 2022.
Please know that specific circumstances may require contact tracing, and this will be addressed only if necessary in collaboration with the Town of Pembroke Health Department. COVID-19 remains widespread in the community at this time. Please monitor your/your child’s health and isolate and test if symptoms of illness develop.
Please read the information below to learn more about the protocols, and how to register to receive a weekly at-home test.
COVID-19 Testing Programs Options in Pembroke Public Schools
- At-Home Rapid Antigen Testing Weekly on Saturday or Sunday
- Symptomatic Testing
Free Home Rapid Test Kits
Student Opt-in: To opt your child in and receive your free at-home rapid test kits, please complete our online student opt-in form.
Staff Opt-in: To opt yourself in (staff members only) and receive your free at-home rapid test kits, please complete our online staff opt-in form.
Overview: At-Home Rapid Testing Program
- About the Test: iHealth is a 15-minute at-home FDA-approved rapid antigen test
- Opt-In: To participate, you must opt-in by completing our online form (links above). By opting in, you will agree to review the training materials for test administration, report positive test results to the school nurse, and administer the tests according to Pembroke Public School’s guidelines.
- Weekly: Every two weeks, opted-in staff and students will receive an iHealth at-home rapid test kit. Kits for students will come home in backpacks. Each kit includes two individual tests. One of which will be administered each week on either Saturday or Sunday.
- Reporting Positive Test Results: If a staff member or student tests positive on an at-home antigen test, you will inform the school nurse through email or phone.
- The school will keep the results confidential and will not make individual results public. In addition, it is strongly recommended that you inform your healthcare professional of the positive result.
- Easy, Free, and Flexible: This test is administered at home (not at school), reducing the burden on school staff and time to administer tests and increasing a family’s flexibility to do testing in the home for free.
How to administer the test video
How to I submit results?
- Submit Results: You must submit positive test results to the school nurse.
- Confidentiality: Positive test results are shared with your school district for informational purposes only. Individual results will remain confidential, and they will never be made public.