Plans for a school-wide testing program took a giant step forward late last week, after the Island’s five school districts voted to authorize partial funding for the program.

Many details remain to be settled, including negotiating a contract with a testing company and private fundraising to cover remaining costs.

Vineyard schools superintendent Matthew D’Andrea has estimated the cost of a testing program at $305,280, $150,000 of which will be funded by contributions from the local schools, split proportionally based on enrollment. Administrative costs will bring the total price tag to around $500,000, according to the superintendent.

The rest of the money is expected to come from private benefactors, though none have been identified, Mr. D’Andrea said. He said the school is working in with the Martha’s Vineyard Savings Bank charitable foundation to secure remainder funding.

On Friday the Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School district committee voted to authorize its share of the program costs, joining the four other Island school districts who had previously approved their shares.

Plans for a public school testing program have been in the works since early in August, when Dr. Jeffrey Zack, emergency room physician and medical advisor on school reopening, proposed regularly testing all students and faculty members entering the school buildings. Dr. Zack’s original plan was scrapped early in October, due to concerns over the accuracy of the tests as well as steep program costs, leaving the future of a school testing plan uncertain.

Then progress resumed when a plan developed by a school-appointed task force won the backing of the all-Island school committee.

The new plan calls for 600 students to be tested each week, through a pool-testing approach. The tests — saliva-sample PCR tests — will be administered to a portion of the population to track potential outbreaks. Elementary school students will be tested on a bi-weekly basis, while high schoolers, who are at a higher risk for virus spread, will be tested weekly.

The plan was guided by input from infectious disease experts Dr. Michael Stoto and Dr. Benjamin Miller, task force members said at a recent meeting. School leaders also looked at other commonwealth school districts — including the Somerville and Wellesley public schools — whhich have recently begun testing programs.

Speaking to the Gazette by phone Monday afternoon, Mr. D’Andrea said the school plans to partner with a local nonprofit to help get the program up and running — possibly Island Health Care, the federally qualified rural health care center in Edgartown that has been a partner in the TestMV test site at the regional high school.

“We’ll probably have to look to contract with a group that would do all of the administration and all of the logistics that are involved,” Mr. D’Andrea said. No partner has been chosen, he said.

And testing will need to be mandatory for all students and staff members entering the building, Mr. D’Andrea said. Mandatory testing has been approved by the all-Island committee, but approval will also be needed from the Martha’s Vineyard Educators Association, the union that represents teachers.

“If that piece is not in place that would present a challenge,” he said.

With cases rising Islandwide and a handful of positive cases already identified in the school system, Mr. D’Andrea said he is working to push the plan through as quickly as possible.

“It’s moving slower than I than I had hoped, but we’re just pushing it forward as fast as we can,” the superintendent said.