January 13, 2021
We are excited to announce the launch of pooled testing of students at BB&N, as first mentioned in December. The program will be launched at the Upper School next week. The program, which will be administered by our partners PhysicianOne and the Broad Institute, works by testing all Upper School students who are on campus in pools of 10 on a weekly basis. This program represents an important step forward because it will allow us to test all of our on-campus students on a regular basis, while also minimizing disruption to instructional time. We plan to introduce pooled testing at the Middle and Lower Schools in the upcoming weeks and will be communicating with you separately about these programs.
Every US student who is learning on campus, or participating in on-campus programming, will be required to test each week. During the program’s first week, we will test 9th and 10th grade students on Tuesday, January 19, and 11th and 12th graders on Thursday, January 21. Students will provide an observed self-administered nasal swab sample during lunchtime and the sample will be pooled in a group of up to 9 other students. Pooling does not generate individual test results and BB&N will not be reporting overall results. However, if a pooled test result reads for the presence of the virus, the school will contact all of the participants in that pool so that each individual may quarantine until they are able to complete an individual PCR or rapid antigen test. The school will offer individual PCR tests for all individuals, in most cases, within 48 hours of initial notification. Families will also have the option of securing their own rapid antigen test or individual PCR test in these circumstances.
Please refer to this FAQ document to learn further details about the pooled testing program. Families at the Middle School and Lower School should expect to receive an email from Kimberly Gold, Director of Student Support Services, when BB&N is ready to pilot pooled testing on those two campuses.
We are excited to be offering this important addition to our health and safety protocols. It is important to remember that testing is just one of several pillars of our school wide commitment to health and safety. Our collective attention to upholding the COVID-19 Community Pledge—coupled with our commitment to masks, social distancing, and hand hygiene—has been critical to the ongoing health and safety of our entire community.
Thank you so much for your continuing partnership in helping keep our campuses open for our students. It’s been a team effort, and one that is worth every single ounce of work that it has taken.