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DC Public Schools requiring negative COVID-19 test for students, staff this fall

The first day of school for K-12 students in the District is on Aug. 29. Test proof should be provided the day before.

WASHINGTON — DC Public Schools (DCPS) announced Wednesday that students and staff will have to test negative for COVID-19 to attend the first day of school.

With back-to-school season in full swing, DCPS is preparing to support families, staff and their nearly 50,000 students across the District with health protocols including a "Test to Return to School" policy. Tests are being provided for pick-up at the schools.

Rapid test kits will be distributed from Aug. 23-26. The tests can be picked up on Tuesday and Friday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., and on Wednesday and Thursday from 12-5:30 p.m.

K-12 students will need to take their COVID test on Aug. 28 and Pre-K students will need to take their test on Aug. 31. Test results can be submitted online for a quick welcome back process or a photocopy of the results can be brought to school the first day.

“I am excited to welcome students in grades K-12 back into our classrooms on Aug. 29, and our Pre-K students on Sept. 1,” Chancellor Lewis Ferebee said. “This school year, we will go deeper in creating joyful and rigorous learning experiences to accelerate the success of our students. We’ll continue to prioritize the needs of the whole child and their academic, emotional, and social development. I am thankful for all the DCPS staff whose commitment drives these efforts.”

Timeline of Back-to-School dates:

  • Tuesday, Aug. 23 to Friday, Aug. 26: Rapid Test Pick-up at Schools
  • Sunday, Aug. 28: Students in Grades K-12 Report COVID
  • Monday, Aug. 29: First Day of School for Grades K-12  
  • Wednesday, Aug. 31: Pre-K Students Report COVID 
  • Thursday, Sept. 1: First Day of School for Pre-K students

Chancellor Ferebee and others from DCPS will discuss topics centered around student immunizations, health and safety, academics, attendance, and more at the DCPS Back-to-School Town Hall on Aug. 18 at 5 p.m. Families can RSVP and tune into the livestream.

Click here for more information on test pick up, how to upload test results, and more.

For the 2022-2023 DCPS school year, all students ages 12 and older are required to have the COVID-19 vaccine to attend school. Within schools, masks continue to remain optional.

Click here for back to school immunization guidance in the District.

DC is also offering mobile vaccination clinics for families who need to make sure their child is up to date. You can find a list of where and when those are here.

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