- Week of April 4: test kits are distributed
- April 11-15: schools are closed for students and staff
- April 17: school staff take a rapid test and upload results
- April 18: Professional Development and Records Day for school staff (no school for students)
- April 18: students take a rapid test and upload results
- April 19: students return to school
DCPS families will need to:
1. Receive a test kit from your school.
Test kits will be distributed on or before Friday, April 8. Check your student’s backpack for the COVID-19 test kit provided to them. If your student will not be in school on Friday, April 8, please contact your school to pick up a test kit, or visit a District COVID Center or a Rapid Test Pickup site to receive one.
2. Take a rapid test.
On Monday, April 18, take the easy to use, at-home test and follow the instructions provided. Families may choose to utilize their own testing option, but tests administered before April 18 will not be accepted. Each COVID-19 Rapid Antigen Test kit includes two COVID-19 tests. Families are encouraged to administer the second test 36 hours later, per the test kit instructions, but only one negative test is required to return to school.
- iHealth COVID-19 Antigen Rapid Test instructions for use (English)
- iHealth COVID-19 Antigen Rapid Test instructions for use (Español)
3. Upload your test results.
Provide proof of your test results by Monday, April 18 at 9:00 p.m. Click the buttons at the top of this page or follow this link.
If your student tests positive, follow all isolation guidance from DC Health and your child’s healthcare provider. Individuals who test positive on a COVID-19 test cannot report for in-person activities and should remain at home during their isolation period. This includes students who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Check out our FAQ to understand the length of your student’s isolation period.
4. Return to class on April 19
Please note that students will not be permitted to attend school until they provide proof of a negative test result following Spring Break. If a student arrives at school without completing a test, families will be provided with a test kit to administer. Unaccompanied students will be tested on-site by trained medical professionals but may face a lengthy wait outside before starting the school day. If you choose to opt your child out of rapid antigen tests administered on-site at school by using this form your child must quarantine for 10 days and cannot attend school during this time.
FAQ: COVID-19 Testing after Spring Break (updated 4/5/22)
Will all students have to test to return to school after break?
Yes! Following Spring Break, all DCPS students must produce proof of a negative COVID-19 test administered within the 24 hours prior to their return to school. Students who return after April 19 will also be required to show proof of a negative test before their return.
What if my student is not in school on April 8 and doesn’t get a test kit?
Test kits will be sent home on or before Friday, April 8. There will not be distribution during Spring Break. If your student will not be in school on Friday, please contact your school to pick up a test kit or visit a District COVID Center or a Rapid Test Pickup site to receive one.
Where do I report my results?
Please upload the results of each student’s COVID-19 test online at https://dcpsreopenstrong.com/safereturn/ before 9:00 pm on Monday, April 18. The test must be taken that day. The staff at your child’s school will have access to this information when you arrive at school.
What if I cannot access the website?
If you do not have access to a computer or tablet, please bring a photograph or copy of the negative test results to school on April 19 and a staff member will support you with uploading your results.
What do I do if my child’s results are positive?
Your child should begin to isolate immediately after receiving a test positive. Your child’s isolation period may be different based on the severity of your COVID infection and whether you participate in additional testing. The chart below explains when your student can exit isolation.
|If your student:||They should immediately:||On or after day 5 they should:|
|Tested positive for COVID-19 and has mild or no symptoms.||Begin to isolate for at least 5 days.||Take a COVID-19 test and can return to school beginning on day 6, IF they receive a negative test result and have been fever free for 24 hours without the aid of medication.|
Proof of your student’s negative test result must be uploaded to dcpsreopenstrong.com/testing prior to their return, otherwise they must complete a 10-day isolation.
Students must wear a mask while at school until day 10 from their positive test result or when symptoms began, whichever is earlier.
|Tested positive for COVID-19 and has severe or critical symptoms or is immunocompromised.||Begin to isolate for at least 10 days and up to 20 days.||Consult with your healthcare professional.|
What happens if a student comes to school without a negative test result or proof of a negative test?
Students who did not test on April 18 must be tested before returning to school.
- Parents who are bringing their students to school tomorrow who have not already tested their child will be provided with a rapid test to administer on site to their child.
- Students who are unaccompanied and under 15: A qualified technician will administer a nose swab test on site unless a family has opted out of on-site testing. Students should anticipate a lengthy wait outside before being admitted to a designated room where they will be tested.
- Students who are unaccompanied and over 15: Students will be provided with a test kit to conduct their nose swab with supervision unless a family has opted out of on-site testing. Students should anticipate a lengthy wait outside before being admitted to a designated room where they will complete their test.
- Students of families who opt out of DCPS on-site testing: Students will not be permitted to return for 10 days or until proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken on or after April 18 is provided. Students who already had an opt-out form on file for asymptomatic testing will need to submit this separate opt-out form for the nasal-based test.
- DCPS guidance is available here and the OSSE opt-out form specifically for this type of test is available here. Students will have access to asynchronous learning materials during this time. Student absences will be excused.
If my student previously tested positive for COVID-19, are they still required to take a rapid antigen test?
All students are staff should be tested irrespective of vaccine status and past infections.
What if a student has opted out of asymptomatic testing at school, will they still be required to take the COVID-19 At-Home Rapid Antigen Test or other COVID-19 test?
Yes. Unless a student has a doctor’s note indicating they cannot take any COVID tests, they must show a negative COVID-19 result to enter school after Spring Break.
My child rides the bus to school; what do I need to do before they get on the bus?
Parents and guardians must upload their child’s COVID-19 test results prior to the bus picking up their child. Students who do not have COVID-19 negative result will be expected to take a COVID-19 At-Home Rapid Antigen Test on site.
If I have a negative test result but have symptoms, am I safe to come to school?
No. Students should continue to follow the “Ask, Ask, Look” protocol and must not come to school if experiencing COVID-19 symptoms.
I have a test result from a PCR test or an at-home rapid test I got from another location; can I use that?
Yes! Any COVID-19 test administered within 24 hours prior to the return to school can be provided. Please upload the results of each student’s COVID-19 test at https://dcpsreopenstrong.com/safereturn/.
My child got a positive result on their COVID-19 At-Home Rapid Antigen Test and a follow-up COVID-19 PCR test was negative. Can they return to school?
Under guidance from DC Health, DC Public Schools treats any positive test result as a positive test. A student must isolate for at least five days prior to returning to school.
My student was a close contact of someone who tested positive for COVID-19 but tested negative. Is my student safe to come to school?
Vaccinated individuals who are a close contact can attend school so long as they are not showing any symptoms. Any unvaccinated individual who was in close contact with an individual with COVID-19 must quarantine for at least five days from the last date of exposure. Your student can take a test on or after day 5 to be able to end quarantine beginning on day 6 as long as they do not have symptoms of COVID-19.
|If your student:||They should immediately:||On or after day 5 they should:|
|Was identified as a close contact of an individual who tested positive for COVID-19, is unvaccinated or not fully vaccinated, and has NOT had COVID-19 in the last 90 days.||Begin to quarantine for at least 5 days.||Take a COVID-19 test and return to school beginning on day 6, IF they receive a negative test result and have no symptoms.|
Proof of your student’s negative test result must be uploaded to dcpsreopenstrong.com/testing prior to their return, otherwise they must complete a 10-day quarantine.
Students are recommended to wear a mask at school until day 10 from their exposure.
|Was identified as a close contact of an individual who tested positive for COVID-19 and is fully vaccinated OR had COVID-19 in the last 90 days.||No quarantine is required. Monitor symptoms for the next ten days.||Your student is recommended to take a COVID-19 test after day 5 but not required to do so. Proof of your student’s negative test result is not required to be uploaded to the DCPS testing portal.|
|Is in a DCPS PK3 or PK4 class and there is a reported case of COVID-19 in their classroom.||May continue to attend school in-person provided they participate in the Pre-K Test to Stay Pilot. Tests will be administered at school.||Students must wear a mask at school and in the school community for 10 days from exposure.|
My children have been exposed to COVID-19 over Spring Break and are not vaccinated. Should we still test to return to school, or should they complete their quarantine?
Please complete your quarantine for the length and duration required. Then, take your COVID-19 At-Home Rapid Antigen Test and upload your negative result within 24 hours of their planned return to in-person learning. You should notify your school that your student is out due to a COVID-19 quarantine through your school’s attendance protocol.
My child has been exposed to COVID-19 over Spring Break and is vaccinated. Should we still test to return to school?
Fully vaccinated students do not need to quarantine if they are not showing symptoms. Your student is recommended to take a COVID-19 test after day 5 but not required to do so. Fully vaccinated individuals who experience any COVID-19 symptoms must not attend schools and should isolate from others, contact their healthcare provider, and get tested for COVID-19.
Who do I contact with questions regarding this policy?
For questions regarding at-home COVID-19 tests, please visit the Department of Health website at https://coronavirus.dc.gov/testyourself.
For questions regarding the website functionality of uploading tests, please call 202-442-5885 and press 1 to be connected to the DCPS Family & Student Tech Call Center.
How will my child’s attendance be recorded after return from Spring Break?
Beginning April 19, students who have not completed testing will not be permitted entry. Absences will be excused for up to 10 days for students who are required to quarantine. For any non-COVID-19 related absences, a parent or guardian’s written note can serve to document such an absence, but please note that if a student is absent for five (5) or more consecutive days, further official documentation is required.