The all-Island school committee approved a set of directives for a school-wide testing program on Thursday, inching the program’s progress forward even as officials raised questions over its financing, implementation and timeline.

The proposal for a public school-wide testing program was first raised this summer by Dr. Jeffrey Zack, a hospital physician and medical advisor on school re-opening. Under the plan, each school building on the Island would acquire a testing machine to regularly screen all students and faculty entering the buildings.

While the plan in concept won the support of the all-Island school committee in August, ongoing discussions surrounding the program’s legal implications and funding sources have complicated progress.

In September, superintendent of the public schools Matthew D’Andrea appointed an advisory committee — made up of school committee members, medical professionals, town health agents, and other community members — to move the program along.

The group convened three times, but never officially endorsed a final draft of the testing plan, group members confirmed.

On Thursday, two weeks into the new school year with waves of students heading back into the building, Dr. Zack came before the committee to share updates on the program.

Under the current proposal, the program would test elementary school students once a week and high school students twice a week. Program operations would be headed by teams of physicians, nurses, EMTs and volunteers, while funding would come largely from private donations, funneled through an MV Bank Charitable Foundation grant. Concrete details surrounding program staffing and testing protocol have yet to be solidified, Dr. Zack told the committee.

Importantly, the program would also require a contribution of $150,000 from the public schools — split between each school district based upon enrollment — as well as commitment from the schools to mandate testing for all students and faculty, Dr. Zack said.

In an effort to move the process along, Mr. D’Andrea set forth a formal directive Thursday, requesting commitment from the school committee to approve the additional program funding and to require a testing mandate for all. The directives also included the school committee entering into an agreement with Lifegaurd Medical Group — a private medical group headed by Dr. Zack.

But the directives — and the testing plan — were met with hesitation from some school committee members and testing advisory committee members, many of whom worried about funding a program with so many moving parts.

“This is going to have to be a highly choreographed process to get these kids out, and get a specimen, and get them back into the building,” said Edgartown health agent Matt Poole, who served on the advisory committee. “I just am not convinced that it’s really going to be as doable as we’re hoping it will be.”

Mr. Poole also noted that recent updates to the proposal had not been discussed during the advisory committee meetings. “We didn’t see anything in writing like we saw tonight ever,” he said. “We don’t need to get into the nitty-gritty of all the details but, you know, we really didn’t have much to chew on.”

Others, including school committee member Amy Houghton, worried that the program’s initial goal of bringing more students back to school had been lost in the planning process.

“The only concern I have about the directive is that it really doesn’t connect the dots between getting kids into the class into the school,” said Ms. Houghton. “The goal of the testing is to bring kids back in safely, to monitor community spread and, to bring kids back sooner into the schools. This directive doesn’t really speak to that.”

Questions of budgeting and process also concerned committee members, including Kate DeVane and Jeffrey (Skipper) Manter, 3rd who questioned how the all-Island committee could commit to funding the program without signoff from the local school districts. Others voiced concern over the price of hiring more nurses to staff the program.

Even amid the pushback, however, certain school committee members voiced staunch support for the program, emphasizing the importance of a testing program that can help keep students safe.

“Health and wellness [committee] has done an outstanding job,” committee member Lisa Regan said. “Can we afford to not do this? We cannot afford to not do it. My vote is yes.”

In the end the committee approved the directives unanimously, with the caveat to defer to local school districts for commitments on funding.

Also Thursday, committee chairman Robert Lionette announced the completion of a memorandum of agreement between the public schools and the Martha’s Vineyard Educators Association regarding teacher contracts. The memorandum is awaiting approval from the MVEA Friday, before coming to a vote before the school committee next week.

The regional high school district committee convened briefly at the adjournment of the all-Island meeting to approve the leasing of six school buses for the high school. During discussion, Mr. Manter voiced concern over a potential lack of security cameras and seatbelts on the buses. The committee voted 7-1 in favor of the proposal, with Mr. Manter casting the nay vote.