Parent/guardian FAQ

Who is Project Beacon?

Project Beacon is a civically-minded effort, with no profit motive, created to help Massachusetts manage the COVID-19 pandemic, by greatly increasing the capacity, accessibility, and affordability of testing

Do I have to book appointments for my child?

No, your school will administer the tests based on their testing program. 

How often will my child be tested?

Please reach out to your school administrator to discuss their specific testing program at your child’s school.  

What if I already have a Project Beacon Account?

Your school will send you a unique link to create a Profile for your child if they are under age 18. Make sure to sign out of any existing Project Beacon profiles you may be logged into before clicking the link the school sent. If you are already logged into an account, you may get an error message when you click the school’s link. Simply log out of your existing Project Beacon account and click the school’s link again. 


Common Registration Scenarios for Parents

My child is under the age of 18 and I am the owner of the account. 

For testees under the age of 18, schools will send a unique link to the parent or guardian to register for a Project Beacon and create a profile for the testee. When the guardian clicks the link, they will be prompted to create a new account, or to log in if they have an existing Project Beacon account (perhaps if their employer is using Project Beacon for testing, or they have used a public Project Beacon Express Testing Site).

For a guardian account, the only information we collect about the guardian is their email address and phone number. All screens that ask for Name, Demographic Information, etc. are for the Profile they are creating for their child/the testee. 

A guardian may also have a profile, but they should not create one by clicking the school’s organization link. If you accidentally create a profile for yourself instead of your child, you will need to contact the school to remove you and repeat the process to create an account for your child.

If you don’t have a Project Beacon account, click ‘Create New Account’ to be taken to the registration page. Enter your email address or phone number, then click ‘Create’. You will be prompted to check your email or text messages to verify your account.

Notes for filling out the Registration Form:

  • Date of Birth must be in the following format: MM/DD/YYYY
  • If you’re adding an address to a profile, you must fill out all address fields: Address Line 1, City, State (using the two-character abbreviation, and Zip Code. Address Line 2 is optional. Adding only a partially completed address for any profile will result in a failed roster upload.
  • Sex must be one of the following values: Male, Female, Other, Unknown
  • Race must be one of the following values: Black or African American, Asian, American Indian and Alaska Native, Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander, White, Other Race
  • Ethnicity must be one of the following values: Hispanic or Latino, Not Hispanic or Latino
  • The Organization Code field should automatically populate from clicking the unique link the school sent you. If not, you can refer to the organization code the school sent you, or contact the school to have them send it again. Make sure to mention whether you are creating a profile for someone over 18 or under 18 so they send the correct link/code.

To access your child’s profile, click on your name or their name in the upper right corner of the page and select your child’s new profile. If you’ve created a profile for yourself, your name will appear. If not, only your child’s name will appear. 

My child is over the age of 18 and they are the owner of the account. 

For testees overthe age of 18, schools will send a unique link to the student to create an account for themselves. When the testee clicks the link, they will be prompted to log in, if they have an existing account, or to create a new account.

The testee will then  be asked to complete the registration using their personal information.

Notes for filling out the Registration Form:

  • Date of Birth must be in the following format: MM/DD/YYYY
  • If you’re adding an address to a profile, you must fill out all address fields: Address Line 1, City, State (using the two-character abbreviation, and Zip Code. Address Line 2 is optional. Adding only a partially completed address for any profile will result in a failed roster upload.
  • Sex must be one of the following values: Male, Female, Other, Unknown
  • Race must be one of the following values: Black or African American, Asian, American Indian and Alaska Native, Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander, White, Other Race
  • Ethnicity must be one of the following values: Hispanic or Latino, Not Hispanic or Latino
  • The Organization Code field should automatically populate from clicking the unique link the school sent you. If not, you can refer to the organization code the school sent you, or contact the school to have them send it again. Make sure to mention whether you are creating a profile for someone over 18 so they send the correct link/code.
  • Click Save.

I need to create an account for one child. 

Please follow the instructions in questions #1 above (“My child is under the age of 18 and I am the owner of the account”) to complete the account activation, registration, and consent steps.

I have multiple children at the same school. 

Please follow the instructions in questions #1 above (“My child is under the age of 18 and I am the owner of the account.”) To complete the account activation, registration, and consent steps.

Each child will require a new profile to be created for them using the code specific for their school and age group sent to you by the school.

I have multiple children at different schools. 

Please follow the instructions in questions #1 above (“My child is under the age of 18 and I am the owner of the account.”) To complete the account activation, registration, and consent steps.

Each child will require a new profile to be created for them using the code specific for their school and age group sent by each of their schools.

For example, if Child A goes to Elementary School A and their code is ABC, you will create their profile using this code (see below). If Child B goes to Intermediate School B and their code is DEF, you will use this code to create their profile. If the school sends you a unique link to create a profile, the Organization Code will be automatically applied. 


Additional FAQs

How and when do I provide consent for my child?

You will be prompted to consent at the time of registration. A consent form will be displayed prior to registration and must be completed to register your account online. Consent can also be obtained at the time of testing through a manual entry by your test site administrator.

Where can I find translations of consent forms? 

Please reach out to  k12covid19testing@mass.gov for translations of consent forms.You can find general information about the Pooled Testing initiative in Massachusetts K-12 schools  at https://www.doe.mass.edu/covid19/pooled-testing/.

Will I be notified if my child is part of a positive pool? 

Please refer to your individual school's protocol for communication around positive pools. There is no direct communicated from Project Beacon to account holders regarding pooled test results, per state guidelines. 

A positive pooled test result does not indicate that your child has been infected with COVID-19. A follow-up test is always required for each individual in a positive pool. Most schools will use the Abbott BinaxNOW Rapid Antigen Diagnostic Test for follow-up. 

Will I be notified if my child receives a positive Follow-Up test? 

Yes. Your child’s school will notify you of the individual follow-up test results and if your child is positive or negative and what to do in each scenario. If you have set up an account with Project Beacon using an email address or phone number, you will also be notified with a new test result notification for you to check at app.beacontesting.com

Will I be notified if my child is part of a negative pool? 

No. If your child is part of a negative pool, they are cleared to continue attending school as normal. No further action is required. 

What should I do if my child’s result is returned as invalid.

Nothing. While invalid results are rare, your school will have a protocol in place for how to re-test under these circumstances.

Who can I contact if I am having trouble with my Project Beacon account? 

Our help desk is available 8:00 AM - 4:00 PM ET to answer questions by email or phone.  You can find more information at www.help.beacontesting.com, or via email at pooling@beacontesting.com

You can find general information about the Pooled Testing initiative in Massachusetts K-12 schools  at https://www.doe.mass.edu/covid19/pooled-testing/.