Dear DCPS Community,
Across DC Public Schools, it is exciting to see students are settling into their classes and new routines, building friendships, and connecting with their teachers. The well-being of our students and staff is our priority. We recognize that with our robust health and safety measures in place, this school year feels different for most students and families. We know families have questions, and we are committed to keeping you informed about our health and safety measures.
Today’s email covers:
- What happens when there is a COVID-19 positive case at your child’s school.
- What to do if your child feels unwell or tests positive for COVID-19.
What should I do if my child doesn’t feel well?
Each day, families should follow our daily symptoms checklist (often referred to as “Ask. Ask. Look.”) to monitor for any symptoms of COVID-19 before your student leaves for school. If your child is not feeling well or is showing any symptoms, they should stay home.
Your school can also provide information about the learning materials available for your student while they are unwell and can arrange for an at-home technology device to be available if you need one.
My child tested positive for COVID-19. What should I do?
Anyone who tests positive for COVID-19 cannot attend school in person and should isolate for at least 10 days and show improvement of symptoms, including no fever for 24 hours.
Please call your school to notify immediately if your child tests positive for COVID-19. We will need to know when your child was last in the school building so contact tracers can begin identifying anyone who may have been in close contact with your child. Your school can also provide information about the learning materials available for your student while they are quarantining and can arrange for an at-home technology device to be available if you need one.
How do I learn if someone tests positive for COVID-19 in my child’s class?
When we are notified about a positive COVID-19 case at school, trained contact tracers will determine if anyone is considered a close contact. Anyone who is identified as a close contact will be notified directly by the school.
After close contacts are identified and informed, families are notified via an email message from your school principal that someone tested positive for COVID-19 within their school and the date that the individual was last present in the building. If the person who tested positive was in your child’s classroom you will receive an additional notification from your school.
If someone at my child’s school tests positive for COVID-19, who is told to quarantine?
Contact tracers will work with the school and the individual who tested positive to identify anyone who is considered a close contact. If your student is considered a close contact, you will be contacted directly. Click here to read how DC Health defines a close contact in a school setting.
If your student is fully vaccinated, they will be notified that they are a close contact but are not required to quarantine unless they show symptoms. Fully vaccinated individuals who are in close contact with a COVID-19 individual are encouraged to get a test between 3 to 5 days of exposure.
What kind of COVID-19 testing is done at school for students?
There are two kinds of testing operations at DCPS schools.
If a child is showing symptoms of COVID-19, they will be escorted to the Health Isolation Room and administered an on-site COVID-19 test.
DCPS also has an opt-out, no-symptom (asymptomatic) testing program. This means we work to randomly test 10-20 percent of our students each week. This is a non-invasive saliva-based test.
All DCPS school-based testing is free for students.
Have more questions?
You can find the answers to more questions about how we inform a school community about COVID-19 public health notices at dcpsreopenstrong.com/health/
We know there is nothing more important to you than the well-being of your child. We will continue to update you on our health and safety protocols and the steps we are taking to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in our schools.
Lewis D. Ferebee, Ed.D.