After winter break, some DC-area school systems go virtual, while others don’t

Students across the D.C. region will soon return to classes after a winter break. While some are headed back into physical classrooms, others will learn virtually for the start of January.

Here’s a roundup on the school systems and their plans:


D.C. Public Schools
All students and staff at D.C. Public Schools will have to show proof of a negative COVID-19 test before they head back to classrooms Jan. 5. Rapid antigen tests can be picked up at schools Jan. 3 and Jan. 4.


Alexandria City Public Schools
Classes resume Jan. 3. Students should continue to complete a daily symptom checklist before reporting to schools. ACPS also asks families to participate in the free on-site weekly testing offered in all schools.

And Superintendent Gregory C. Hutchings Jr. said in a letter to families that the school system is consulting with the health department about whether any changes should be made to quarantine procedures now that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends a shorter isolation period.

Arlington Public Schools
Arlington students head back to classes Jan. 3. “We will open our doors as planned on Jan. 3 and continue to adhere to CDC and VDH guidance for operating safely and reducing COVID-19 spread in schools. We will open with regular in-person schedules and our Extended Day program will also operate on the normal schedule,” Superintendent Francis Duran wrote in a winter break update.

Through Jan. 14, the following in-person activities will be on hold: athletics and extracurricular activities, including practices, competitions, performances, clubs, theater, band, orchestra and chorus, and Career and Technical student organizations. Virtual activities may continue.

Fairfax County Public Schools
Fairfax County Public Schools will offer drive-through diagnostic testing Dec. 30 and Dec. 31 ahead of the Jan. 3 return to classes. Fairfax County will participate in a test-to-stay program once it is started by the Virginia Department of Health.

Frederick County Public Schools
Students return to classes Jan. 3. The school system has a dashboard of COVID-19 cases.

Loudoun County Public Schools 
Loudoun County Public Schools reopen after winter break on Jan. 3.

Manassas City Public Schools
Students return to classes on Jan. 4. Jan. 3 is a student holiday and a professional development day.

Manassas Park City Schools
Classes resume Jan. 3.

Prince William County Public Schools
Classes resume Jan. 3.


Anne Arundel County Public Schools
Classes are back in session on Jan. 3. The school system changed its  coronavirus quarantine and isolation protocol to align with new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines.

Calvert County Public Schools
Classes resume Jan. 3.

Charles County Public Schools
Charles County Public Schools students will receive virtual instruction from Jan. 3 through Jan. 7 rather than attending class in-person due to “a high positive COVID-19 percentage rate for Charles County and high testing demand,” the school system said.

Howard County Public Schools
Classes resume Jan. 3. Beginning Jan. 3, the following activities will start back up: indoor athletics practices, dance performances, music concerts and performances and travel for extracurricular activities.

Frederick County Public Schools
Students return from winter break on Jan. 3.

Montgomery County Public Schools
Public schools in Montgomery County asked parents to report COVID-19 cases if their kids test positive for the virus over winter break. Here is a link to the reporting form. Classes resume Jan. 3. The school system has a dashboard of the total number of COVID-19 cases in each school and how many students are quarantined.

Prince George’s County Public Schools
All regularly scheduled classes through Friday, Jan. 14, 2022 will be held virtually. In-person learning for most students will start back up after the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday. Students in the K-6 Virtual Learning Program will return on Jan. 31. In a letter to the school community, Chief Executive Officer Monica Goldson said the school system made the move because of increasing COVID-19 positivity rates.

St. Mary’s County Public Schools
All schools reopen Jan. 3.

Colleen Kelleher

Colleen Kelleher is an award-winning journalist who has been with WTOP since 1996. Kelleher joined WTOP as the afternoon radio writer and night and weekend editor and made the move to in 2001. Now she works early mornings as the site's Senior Digital Editor.

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