Safer at School COVID Screening Program

Safer at School COVID Screening Program
Posted on 09/10/2021
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Dear Parents and Guardians,

The Oyster River Cooperative School District has partnered with UNH to offer the Safer at School COVID Screening program, often referred to as SASS.  The SASS program is a State initiative aimed at supporting schools interested in conducting asymptomatic surveillance testing for COVID-19 among students and staff. The program is funded through the federal government’s American Rescue Plan.  All NH schools serving children in Kindergarten through Grade 12 are eligible.  Our preschool program is also eligible because our students receive their education on our campus.

This is strictly an OPT-IN program for the 2021-2022 school year.  It is NOT mandatory.  In addition to surveillance testing, the district may at times be able to offer this testing to student groups or individuals as needed.  If you are vaccinated, you are able to also OPT-IN; however, the program was developed to target unvaccinated populations.

UNH has partnered with Stewart Ambulance to conduct the testing on-site in our schools.  If you OPT-IN for the surveillance testing, your child will be tested on a weekly basis or other schedule depending on the amount of interest.  We have been working closely with UNH and Stewart Ambulance for several weeks to review procedures, develop systems, and to identify locations.

Please see the attached Parent/Guardian FAQ.  This document developed by UNH helps to explain the program more simply.  You will find an Informed Consent that explains the program, the types of tests, and other important information through the PowerSchool Parent Portal (more information below)

Once you OPT-IN you will not need to provide permission again.  If you change your mind, you will simply email Catherine Plourde at cplourde@orcsd.org and you will be removed from the list.  The due date for consents is Tuesday, September 14 to participate in the program starting the week of September 20.  If you decide to wait and give consent later, your consent will be due to the district on Thursdays by 3:00pm in order to participate the next week.  Remember you only need to consent one time.

If you are interested in the SASS Program, you may access the Informed Consent through the PowerSchool Parent Portal (https://powerschool.orcsd.org/public) under Forms, then General Forms.  The name of the form is titled “Informed Consent for Participants in the University of New Hampshire COVID-19 Safer at Schools Screening Program”.  We are extremely grateful to UNH for their partnership so we may offer another layer of mitigation to our protocols.

Thank you very much,

Catherine Plourde
Director of Student Services

Dr. James Morse
Superintendent of Schools 

Suzanne Filippone
Assistant Superintendent

UNH Safer at School COVID Screening Parent FAQ