Proof of negative COVID test required for DCPS students after spring break

D.C. Public Schools students will have to show proof of a negative COVID-19 test before coming back to class after spring break.

All students and staff will receive rapid antigen test kits from their school by April 18, the system said.

You can contact schools school to pick up a test kit or visit a District COVID Center or a Rapid Test Pickup site to get one.

DCPS schools are closed through April 18 for spring break. On April 18, students are supposed to take a rapid test and upload the results online by 9 p.m.

“Families may choose to utilize their own testing option, but tests administered before April 18 will not be accepted,” DCPS said.

Schools Chancellor Lewis Ferebee said the program is important to keep schools open.

“In implementing our Safe Return testing program in December and February, we were able to keep our schools open as students, families, and staff returned to the classroom following week-long breaks,” Ferebee said in a statement.

“Our priority is to keep our students safely learning in the classroom, where we know they learn best. We appreciate the partnership of our entire community to collectively take this step to limit the spread of COVID-19 in our schools.”

Each at-home kit comes with two 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,” the system said.

The process is mandatory as part of DCPS’ Test-To-Return policy. Students won’t be allowed to attend school until they provide proof of a negative test.

School staff also have to take a rapid test and upload results April 17.

More information is available online.

Will Vitka

William Vitka is a Digital Editor and reporter for He's been in the news industry for over a decade. Before joining WTOP, he worked for CBS News, Stuff Magazine, The New York Post and wrote a variety of books—about a dozen of them, with more to come.

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