The Rockefeller Foundation recently published COVID-19 Testing in K-12 Schools: Insights from Early Adopters, a report sharing various K-12 schools’ and districts’ approaches to COVID-19 testing, as well as recommendations for implementing school testing broadly. The Rockefeller Foundation commissioned the research from RAND Corporation and Mathematica, which found that regular COVID-19 testing in primary and secondary educational settings is critical to getting students and teachers back to in-person instruction. Rye Country Day School, whose pool testing program provides regular surveillance of the 1,200 students and employees who participate in on-campus activity, was one of the researched early adopter schools.
Commenting on pool testing’s role in reopening Rye Country Day School—and keeping it open—Head of School Scott Nelson shares, “Weekly pool testing has been a critical component of our risk mitigation strategy, and it works well in conjunction with the health and safety protocols outlined in the our Reopening Plan, such as daily health screenings, social distancing, mask wearing, and proper respiratory and hand hygiene. Through enabling early detection of asymptomatic cases, pool testing has allowed us to avoid extensive exposure and to remain open for in-person instruction.” Mr. Nelson is pleased and proud to have RCDS participate in research that is central to the global conversation on how to get schools back up and running. He concludes, “We know in-person instruction is optimal, but it must be done safely with the support of the entire school community. I am extremely grateful to the Rye Country Day community for its partnership and to our Medical Committee for its ongoing, essential work with the pool testing program. It takes a strong and dedicated community to realize an effort like this. We are fortunate to have just that here at RCDS.”