A safe and healthy environment for in-person learning is our top priority.
School building reopening plans and readiness checklists are now online.
Have a health or safety concern? Contact the building safety hotline.
To deliver on our health and safety commitment and begin to offer in-person learning, we are focused on facility readiness, operational planning, health and safety protocols, and building systems for ongoing monitoring.
We are utilizing a set of building readiness standards to ensure every facility is ready to welcome students back to a safe learning environment. This checklist includes HVAC enhancements to increase fresh air infiltration. These standards align with public health guidance issued by DC Health, the Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE), and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 when schools may reopen.
Schools are receiving detailed guidance and intensive technical assistance to guide the development of individualized operational plans prior to reopening. After these are implemented, school leadership, operational staff, and relevant central office teams will conduct building walkthroughs, alongside parent and community leaders, to determine schools can safely reopen. Additionally, the monitoring of new routines and safety protocols will take place on a regular basis after students and staff return to in-person learning.
School Building Readiness Checklist
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) & Hygiene Supplies: Schools have the necessary general and enhanced PPE and hygiene supplies and are prepared to utilize the standardized inventory monitoring protocol established by central office to ensure timely supply replenishment.
Cleaning Supplies & Procedures: Schools have the necessary cleaning supplies and are prepared to utilize the standardized inventory monitoring protocol established by central office to ensure timely supply replenishment. All cleaning supplies are from the EPA-registered list in the CDC guidance. School custodial staff have been trained to implement enhanced and deep cleaning protocols.
Socially Distant Space Arrangement: Schools are set up to facilitate social distancing among staff and students, using resources provided by central office.
Signage: Schools have COVID-19 health signage (in English and other languages) posted in arrival spaces, hallways, and classrooms. Signage will address key COVID-19 public health and safety practices.
Water Access: Schools have safe and reliable access to water in a manner that prevents risk of virus transmission.
Plumbing Systems: School plumbing work orders related to bathrooms, sinks, and water supply systems are prioritized so that schools are ready to welcome students and staff.
HVAC Enhancements: Schools are equipped with either a Direct Outside Air System (DOAS) with MERV-13/MERV-14 filters or High-Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filters.
- Read a detailed memo prepared by the Department of General Services (DGS) — updated on November 30, 2020 — on Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning (HVAC) augmentations and updates completed to ensure all DCPS facilities are safe for return to-in-person schooling during COVID-19.
- Click here to view an overview of HVAC enhancements at DCPS schools.