Viral RNA testing, and the School Pass App 8/21/20

Dear Hackley Community,

I am writing to share additional information regarding the COVID-19 pool testing services that Hackley will use for the 2020-2021 school year, as well as the Schoolpass app that will help with the daily health questionnaire. I had hoped to share this information yesterday, but was delayed in doing so. As such, we will keep the survey regarding hybrid learning open through Monday, August 24 at 5:00 PM.

In partnership with JCM Analytics (JCMA) and Mirimus Laboratories, Hackley will begin a weekly routine of pool testing using an FDA-approved testing kit for viral RNA. In a low incidence area such as the Mid-Hudson region, pool testing is a cost-effective and resource-effective way to quickly test samples, complementing the other measures we are taking to keep our community safe. You can read the CDC’s interim guidance on pool testing

I want to again thank all of you for your partnership, patience, and for simply reading all of our communications carefully. I recognize that the school is sharing a lot of important information these days, providing you much to consider and digest. As always, we are here to answer your questions and to continue partnering with you during this difficult time. Despite the early inconveniences of testing, this strategy alongside the other measures in place will help Hackley create the healthiest and safest environment possible for our campus community.

Forward together,

Michael C. Wirtz P ’29, ’31

Information on JCMA and Pool Testing

An overview of JCMA and pool testing can be found in
this brief slide deck. We also developed this FAQ document based on questions from the community. Please share any further questions with school leaders on pool testing or other related matters using the email address This email address will be monitored and someone will respond in a timely manner. These questions will also be used to update the FAQ.

ACTION REQUIRED: Complete the Online Consent Form
fill out this online consent form by Monday, August 24 by 12:00 PM.**

This form gives Hackley permission to test your student’s samples this year, releasing the results to the school. All students, whether participating in in-person instruction or hybrid learning instruction to start the year must complete this form. During the COVID-19 pandemic, participation in pool testing is required for students to be on campus for any in-person classes or activities.

The tests being run on the samples screen only for COVID-19 and no personal information will be shared with the lab conducting the tests (Mirimus); they only receive bar coded samples. JCMA’s infrastructure ensures that samples and individuals are correctly matched. Hackley will provide JCMA student names and email addresses, both of which will only be used to create a log-in to view results. This information will not be shared with any third parties.

Who is being tested?
Starting on Friday, August 28, Hackley will begin a weekly routine of testing of all students, employees, part-time coaches (while in-season), and the FLIK dining team for the entirety of the 2020-2021 school year.

When and Where?
On Friday, August 28, students can provide a saliva sample during one of the following windows: 8:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. or 4:00 - 5:00 p.m. All sample stations will be located on Akin Common. Please enter via Saperstein Arch.

To help keep the flow of people on campus more manageable, we request that students come to campus in the following windows:
  • Lower School: 8:00 - 9:00 a.m.
  • Middle School: 9:00 - 10:15 a.m. (Request that parents/guardians remain in cars.)
  • Upper School: 10:15 a.m. - 12:00 p.m (Request that parents/guardians remain in cars.)
  • Overflow: 4:00 - 5:00 p.m.

If you have multiple children in the school, please use the window pertaining to your youngest child. As always, masks and social distancing will be in effect.

Schoolpass App for Health Screening Questionnaire
Prior to submitting a sample on August 28, every individual will need to complete Hackley’s health screening questionnaire and have their temperature taken on site. As mentioned in the town hall meetings, Hackley will use the Schoolpass app to collect this information for employees and students. More information will be shared next week regarding Schoolpass.

What if I can’t make it to campus for the test on August 28?
If you are unable to take the test on August 28, you may submit a hard copy result of a rapid antigen test performed by an approved testing site and that was administered no earlier than Friday, August 28. Please email a copy of the results to or bring a physical copy when your child arrives for orientation.

Saliva Sample Collection Instructions
Sample collection is simple and can be found in this
set of directions or this video. Trained medical professionals will be on site to assist and answer any questions. Although there are no restrictions regarding eating or drinking prior to providing a sample, the lab requests that individuals not use mouthwash the morning of sample collection.

Results will be available 24-48 hours after the lab receives the samples. You will log on to JCMA’s secure web portal. Additional information regarding account creation and viewing results will be shared in a subsequent communication. To create transparency around pool results, we will track and communicate out results to the full community beginning with the August 28 test cycle.

Subsequent Tests
The next test date for students will be Friday, September 4, 8:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. or 4:00 - 5:00 p.m. Students will leave campus on August 28 with a kit for collection for the subsequent week and samples can be dropped off during the windows noted above. Students should prepare the saliva sample first thing in the morning on Friday, September 4, bringing it to campus during one of the windows above.

Forward together,
Michael C. Wirtz P ’29 ’31