COVID Pool Testing:
As Newton South prepares for a full in-person return to school after April vacation, we STRONGLY ENCOURAGE families to enroll their student in our COVID-19 testing program. Testing is one of the best ways we have to quickly identify infection and reduce the possibility of in-school transmission.
Here are three reasons for students who either will be attending school or who are distance students involved in regular extracurriculars (i.e. athletics, theater, etc.) to enroll:
It’s a quick process to enroll:
Complete the opt-in in Aspen through the PARENT/FAMILY ACCOUNT (here’s the link!).
Students then create an account at JCM (do it here!) enter your NPS email, select “Forgot Password prompt”, follow the email verification process, log in and the QR Code will appear. You can then take a picture of your QR code and you will use that same code every week that you test.
For the first time you are going to test, you can either go to the main office to pick up a test kit, or come to the faculty dining room at the times listed further down in the email below.
If step b. above is too confusing or you get stuck, as long as your parent/guardian completed step a., you can just show up to the South testing center on the designated days (more info below) and a staff member will give you a test kit with instructions and we will also gladly give you your QR code that you will need each week when you come to test (taking a picture of the QR code with your phone is a common strategy that works since most students always have their phone with them).
It’s painless! This is NOT the “touch your brain” swab! This is a sample that you will take from the front of your nose with a Q-tip like swab. It is very fast and, again, PAINLESS!
It makes a difference! The more students who participate, the better data we have on infection rates in our community. This means that we can quickly identify infection, reduce the risk of school transmission, limit quarantines, and keep our schools, athletics and other important activities open for the rest of the school year!
Other updated pool testing info:
After vacation, since we won’t be restricted with times related to the two cohorts anymore, we will be moving our Thursday testing day to Tuesday. So the testing windows for students to choose from beginning on April 26th will be:
Mondays, B Block (lunch block) 10:45am – 12:55pm in the Faculty Dining Room (same as before)…located next to the cafeteria in the hallway near the lecture hall
Tuesdays, Flex Block (3:10 – 3:55pm) in the Faculty Dining Room located next to the cafeteria in the hallway near the lecture hall
Tuesdays, 4:00pm – 4:30pm in the Faculty Dining Room (designed for students who are distance learning who are involved in extracurricular activities regularly at South) located next to the cafeteria in the hallway near the lecture hall
As a way to incentivize participation in the pool testing program, we are planning to have randomized opportunities for students to win small prizes when they drop off a completed test and pick up a new one for the following week. Possible prizes may include small amount gift cards (i.e. Starbucks, Dunkin’) or South swag so SIGN UP IF YOU HAVEN’T ALREADY!
If you have any questions, please see this NPS page: https://www.newton.k12.ma.us/Page/3826 or if you can’t find your answer there, please reach out to me and I will see if I can help or point you in the right direction. Thank you!