DCPS Update on Mask Policy (March 2022)
COVID-19 Response Team
We want to remind families, if your student or if you (staff) test positive or have any concerns regarding the school’s COVID-19 procedures please contact ALL THREE members of our COVID-19 Response Team:
Lisa Jones, Assistant Principal, Lisa.Jones2@k12.dc.gov
Isaac Daniel, Assistant Principal, Isaac.Daniel@k12.dc.gov
Jevelle Branch, Director of Operations & Collaborative Projects, Jevelle.Branch@k12.dc.gov
We continue to work with DCPS and DC Health to ensure the health and safety of students and staff. If there are any updates we will continue to share them with our community via email.
DCPS Expands COVID-19 Surveillance Testing
This message was sent to DCPS families from Chancellor Ferebee on January 13, 2022. *Esta carta está disponible en español a continuación.
Dear DCPS Families, Our commitment throughout this pandemic has been to continuously review and assess our layered mitigation strategy for limiting the spread of COVID-19. Today, I want to provide you with an update on:
- Our expanded surveillance testing program to monitor COVID-19 within our schools.
- How you can stay informed on the case rate within your student’s school.
- Our current policies on quarantine and isolation periods.
Please read this important update carefully. As our city continues to address the high number of COVID-19 cases, I urge you to take the life-saving step of getting yourself and your child vaccinated, and if eligible, receiving a booster shot as soon as possible. For the latest schedule of vaccination clinics at our schools (open to the entire family), visit dcpsreopenstrong.com/vaccines or vaccinate.dc.gov for other District locations.
Sincerely, Lewis D. Ferebee, Ed.D., Chancellor
Expanded Testing of COVID-19
There are four surveillance testing options for students that DCPS will robustly deploy throughout this surge of cases. We are also working with city partners to launch a “Test to Stay” program for close contacts of reported cases at schools and will share more details in the coming weeks.
- Safe Return Testing: Following the February and April breaks, families will be required to test their child and upload their test results to our Safe Return portal before they can return to the classroom. Test kits will be provided to students to take home with them prior to the break. You will hear more from us before the February break begins on Monday, February 21.
- Targeted Early Childhood Weekly Testing: With many of our youngest learners ineligible to access the lifesaving COVID-19 vaccine, we are dedicating 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 receive weekly test kits and are highly encouraged to test each week. Tests will be distributed every Friday beginning this week (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 the link with where to upload their test results.
- Mail-Home Testing for Close Contacts: Students who are identified as close contacts can request test kits be mailed directly to their home after exposure to a positive individual within our schools. Beginning the week of January 18, if a student is identified as a close contact, families will be provided with a link to request the at-home testing kit.
- Routine Asymptomatic Testing: Each week, all 116 schools conduct asymptomatic testing, working to test at least 20 percent of our student population.
Staying Informed on COVID-19 Cases
Prior to the winter break, we announced that community notices sent to school communities will include a total number of COVID-19 cases reported to the school each day. You can now view each day’s totals at dcpsreopenstrong.com/category/articles.
Community notices will be sent Sunday through Friday, except for school holidays. This information is based on cases initially reported to schools prior to 11:00 a.m. that day. Final verified case counts will continue to be available at coronavirus.dc.gov/page/dc-schools-data.
Guidance on Quarantine and Isolation
DC Health is reviewing the guidance from CDC on shortening the isolation and quarantine periods. For now, current quarantine and isolation guidance remains in effect. This means that:
- An individual who tests positive for COVID-19 must isolate for at least ten days.
- An unvaccinated or partially vaccinated individual who is exposed to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 must quarantine for 10 days. They can exit quarantine after day 7 provided they take a PCR test on or after day 5 and receive a negative test result.
- Fully vaccinated individuals who are exposed to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 are not required to quarantine but are recommended to take a test 3 to 5 days after exposure.
“Ask, Ask, Look” Protocols & DCPS Health & Safety
Ellington utilizes the “Ask, Ask, Look” protocol recommended by DC Health and Office of the State Superintendent of Education to support daily screening for staff and students. All employees have been provided with separate guidance related to this protocol for adults before reporting to work in person. The following information will implement the protocol with students through a home-school partnership. Ellington and DCPS expect families to implement the “Ask, Ask, Look” protocol DAILY before students depart for school. For comprehensive information, Click here.
DCPS has a great resource webpage with all the information on Health and Safety for the School Year 2021-2022.
Please make sure you check out the Health & Safety – Reopen Strong site which outlines the safety measures and precautions DCPS and Ellington will be implementing. We will also be sharing more information about what measures we are taking in each art department as well.
Some of the topics addressed are:
- Healthy routines at home
- HVAC enhancements
- Enhanced cleaning protocols
- Building readiness
- Space arrangements and social distancing
- Student meals
- Illness screening and testing
- COVID-19 reporting protocols
- Quarantine protocols
- COVID-19 vaccine availability
- Best practices, visitor regulations, and more!
School-Based COVID-19 Testing Information and Opt-Out Form
Asymptomatic testing will take place every Wednesday for students at 1:30 p.m. in room 140.
For School Year 21-22, DCPS will continue to provide COVID-19 testing for all students. Here are the testing programs that will be offered to students:
20% Testing Mandate Still in Effect: The DC “Protecting Our Children” Emergency Amendment Act currently requires that schools test 20% of enrolled students, weekly. If this mandate changes, we will alert parents of any adjustments. Those who had COVID-19 in the past 90 days are currently discouraged from participating in asymptomatic testing.
Weekly Asymptomatic PCR Testing: No individual, regardless of age or grade level should participate in PCR testing for 90 days after a positive COVID-19 infection. If they do participate and receive a positive PCR, DCPS will need to submit a consult to DC Health to determine if it is remnants of the prior infection or a new infection. The individual will need to isolate until DC Health makes their determination.
Close contact testing: If the student is identified as a close contact of an individual who has COVID-19 in the school setting, they would be eligible for COVID-19 testing after the exposure.
Symptomatic testing: The student will complete a COVID-19 test if they develop symptoms of COVID-19 at school.
Parent/Family Communication: If you’re having an issue obtaining test results, you should call the Support Line at 833-762-0762.
Click here for the Opt-Out form.
DCPS Coronavirus (COVID-19) Updates