COVID-19 Surveillance Testing

January 24, 2022 | As part of our weekly testing program, we are implementing a test-to-stay pilot program for Pre-K students. Test to Stay for Pre-K classrooms will go into effect should a student test positive through the required weekly testing each Sunday. Como parte de nuestro programa de pruebas semanales, estamos implementando un programa piloto de prueba para seguir asistiendo a la escuela para los estudiantes de prekínder. La prueba para seguir asistiendo a la escuela para los estudiantes de prekínder entrará en vigencia si un estudiante tuvo un resultado positivo en una de las pruebas semanales requeridas para hacerse cada domingo.

January 23, 2022 | Pre-K families MUST upload weekly COVID-19 test results on Sunday. Click on the red button below. Las familias de Pre-K deben subir los resultados de la prueba semanal COVID-19 el domingo. Haga clic en el botón rojo de abajo.

January 13, 2022 | There are four surveillance testing options that DCPS will robustly deploy throughout this surge of cases. We are also working with city partners to launch a “Test to Stay” program and will share more details in the coming weeks.

Safe Return Testing

Before the return to the classroom after the February and April instructional breaks, students and staff will be required to test and upload their results to our Safe Return portal.

Test kits and additional guidance will be distributed prior to the holiday break. Additional guidance will be provided prior to the February holiday.

Mail Home Testing

Staff will be able to sign up to receive a weekly PCR test mailed to their home. Instructions for signing up for the kits will be provided the week of January 17.

Students and staff who are identified as close contacts can also request test kits be mailed directly to their home after exposure to a positive individual within our schools.

Use this link to request a test kit.

PK3 and PK4 Weekly Testing

With many of our youngest learners ineligible to access the lifesaving COVID-19 vaccine, we are dedicating testing resources to weekly testing of all Pre-K students.

Students in PK3 and PK4 will be provided with a rapid test each week and will be required to upload their results each Sunday before returning to the classroom. Kindergarten students will also be receiving weekly test kits and are highly encouraged to test each week.

Tests will be distributed each week beginning this Friday (January 14). Due to the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday, families should test on Monday, January 17 and upload their results by 4:00 p.m. that day.

Pre-K and Kindergarten families will receive detailed instructions from their school on how to share their results.

As of January 24, Pre-K students will also be part of a Test to Stay pilot program when there is a reported positive case in the classroom from weekly testing.

Routine Asymptomatic Testing

Each week, all 116 schools conduct asymptomatic testing, working to test at least 20 percent of our student population.

Rapid Antigen Test Instructions

How to upload your results | Español | 中文 | አማርኛ | updated January 13, 2022

Community Town Halls on COVID-19 Protocols

[January 26 town hall video forthcoming]

Frequently Asked Questions: Pre-K and Kindergarten COVID-19 Testing (updated 1/13/22)

Are all students required to test each week?   

Beginning January 17, all Pre-K students are required to take a test and upload their results the day before returning to school that week. Kindergarten students are highly encouraged to take their test the day prior and upload their results. Due to the Martin Luther King Jr., holiday, families should test on Monday, January 17 and upload their results that day.    

Where do I get a test for my child?  

Students will be sent home from school with a test kit each Friday. If your student is not in school on Friday, please contact your school to pick up their test kit. Test kits are only available for Pre-K and Kindergarten students.  

Where do I report my results?   

Please upload the results of each student’s COVID-19 test online at dcpsreopenstrong.com/testing before 4:00 p.m. on the day prior to the first day of school that week. The test must have been taken the day prior to your student’s return to 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.  

What do I do if my child’s results are positive? 

After you upload your results to dcpsreopenstrong.com/testing please call your school office to notify them of a positive test result so that your school knows your child will not be present while they quarantine.  

Students who test positive must isolate for a minimum of ten days from the onset of symptoms or their positive test result if asymptomatic. They cannot report for in-person activities and should remain at home during this time. This includes students who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19. On day 11, students may return to in-person activities as long as it has been at last been at least 24 hours after the fever has resolved without the use of fever-reducing medication (e.g., Motrin, Tylenol) and other symptoms have improved; AND at least ten days after symptoms first appeared, whichever is later.  

Any student who is asymptomatic and tests positive must isolate for a minimum of ten days from the date they took the test. They cannot report for in-person activities and should remain at home during this time. This includes students who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19. On day 11, students may return to in-person activities. 

What if my child is not in school on Friday?  

If your student is not in school on Friday, please contact your school to pick up their test kit. Test kits are only available for Pre-K and Kindergarten students. 

What happens if a student comes to school without a negative test result or proof of a negative test?  

Pre-K students who have not tested or uploaded results will not be allowed to enter the school and will be sent home with their parent/guardian. Parents or guardians must test their child(ren) and upload results to the dcpsreopenstrong.com/testing. Students will be permitted to enter the school when the negative result has been uploaded and displayed. Kindergarten students are highly encouraged to test before they return to school each week.   

What if a student has opted out of asymptomatic testing at school, will they still be required to take a test each week?  

Yes, if they are a Pre-K student. Unless a student has a doctor’s note indicating they cannot take any COVID-19 tests, they must show a negative COVID-19 result to enter school. 

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.  

My child is quarantining and not expected to return this week. Should they still take a test on Sunday?  

No. Your student should take a test the day prior to their return. Please be in touch with your school if you do not have a test kit at home.  

My PreK student tested positive in the last 90 days. Are they still required to test each week?  

Yes. Once your PreK student has completed their ten-day isolation period, they should resume participation in the weekly testing requirement.  

My student tested positive for COVID-19. Can they come back earlier than 10 days if they test negative on a rapid antigen test? 

Not at this time. Students who test positive must isolate for a minimum of ten days from the onset of symptoms or their positive test result if asymptomatic. 

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?  

Any unvaccinated individual who was in close contact with an individual with COVID-19 must quarantine for ten days from the last date of exposure. Your student can take a PCR test on or after day 5 to be able to return to school beginning on day 8 as long as they do not have symptoms of COVID-19.  

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 the day prior to the first day of school that week can be utilized. Please upload the results of each student’s COVID-19 test administered on the day prior to returning to school online at dcpsreopenstrong.com/testing.  

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 current guidance from DC Health, DC Public Schools treats any positive test result as a positive test. A student must isolate for ten days prior to returning to school.  

What else should I keep in mind after getting a negative result for my child on their COVID-19 At-Home Rapid Antigen Test?  

Continue to monitor your student for any symptoms of COVID-19. If they are showing any symptoms and/or they are required to quarantine if they are unvaccinated and identified as a close contact to an individual who tested positive for COVID-19, keep your student at home, regardless of their test result.  

What if a student is 5+ and vaccinated – are they required to test weekly? 

Yes. All eligible PreK students must take a test each week and upload their results to dcpsreopenstrong.com/testing, regardless of vaccination status. 

Should PK students continue to participate in asymptomatic testing? 

No. Routine rapid testing will replace asymptomatic testing for eligible students.  

How will my child’s attendance be recorded during the first week of January? 

Beginning January 5, Pre-K students who have not completed testing will not be permitted entry and their absence will be excused. 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.