The Cardinal Connection
Week of Jan.5th
At J.O. Wilson Elementary School, we are SOARing to success every day in every way by creating an environment in which joy, pride, positive interactions, and growth mindsets lead students to comfort in taking risks, self-advocating, and facing adversity
Update on Test to Return and Thursday Planning...
Thank you to all our families that have submitted your student’s COVID-19 test results. We appreciate you taking part in this important task. If you have not already done so, please upload your student’s results immediately. Uploads are currently working smoothly, and we continue to monitor the website experience for our families.
Thursday arrivals: We strongly encourage all families to be prepared to wait for students’ negative test results to be confirmed before entering school on Thursday. Please dress accordingly for the temperatures. Families can help expedite this process by uploading their test results immediately. Please see below for the staggered arrival time being implemented at J.O. Wilson ES on both Thursday, Jan. 6th and Friday, Jan. 7th.
Important information for students who do not test before arrival:
- Students who did not test today must be tested before returning to school.
- Students who are unaccompanied and under 15: A qualified technician will administer a nose swab test on site unless a family has opted out of on-site testing. Students should anticipate a lengthy wait outside before being admitted to a designated room where they will be tested.
- Students who are unaccompanied and over 15: Students will be provided with a test kit to conduct their nose swab with supervision unless a family has opted out of on-site testing. Students should anticipate a lengthy wait outside before being admitted to a designated room where they will complete their test.
- Students of families who have opted out of DCPS on-site testing: Students will not be permitted to return for 10 days or until proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken on or after January 6 is provided.
- DCPS guidance is available here and the OSSE opt-out form specifically for this type of test is available here. Students will have access to asynchronous learning materials during this time. Student absences will be excused. Students who already had an opt-out form on file for asymptomatic testing will need to submit this separate opt-out form for the nasal-based test.
Staggered Arrival Times For Students on Jan. 6th and Jan.7th
As we prepare for school opening tomorrow we want to share with you a few extremely important changes that are being implemented on both Thursday, January 6th, and Friday, January 7th. We will have staggered arrival times on Thursday and Friday and all students will enter the building using the main entrance closest to 7th and K streets.
The reason for this change is to ensure that all students have been tested for COVID-19 prior to returning to school and we will need to use this staggered arrival time to test students and await the results of testing. We are asking that all families adhere to arrival time slots even if you have submitted your student's COVID results online.
While we realize that this is an inconvenience for families we also have to continue to place student safety as our top priority. Please see below for your student's time slot for entry. . Please DO NOT bring your student before their grades scheduled arrival time.
8:15 – 9:15: PK3 and PK 4
9:15- 10:00: Kinder and 1st grade
10:00- 10:45: 2nd grade and 3rd grade
10:45- 11:30: 4th grade and 5th grade
FAQ: COVID-19 Testing After Winter Break (Updated 1/5/22)
- Will all students have to test to return?
Yes! Following the winter break, all DCPS students must produce proof of a negative COVID-19 test administered within 24 hours of their return to school. Students who have not provided proof of a negative test will be required to take a test with a parent, guardian and/or medical professional before coming to school beginning on Thursday, January 6. Students who return after January 6, 2022, will also be required to show proof of a negative test before their return.
- Can I pick up my tests at school?
Yes! COVID-19 At-Home Rapid Antigen Tests will be available at every DCPS school on Tuesday, January 4 from 2:00 to 5:00 pm, or Wednesday, January 5 between 10:30 am and 5:00 pm. Families may pick up their test at any DCPS location. These COVID-19 At-Home Rapid Antigen Tests are also available at additional sites around the city at coronavirus.dc.gov/testing.
- Where do I report my results?
Please upload the results of each student’s COVID-19 test online at dcps.dc.gov/safereturn before 5:00 pm on Wednesday, January 5. The test must have been taken within 24 hours of your student’s return to school. The staff at your child’s school will have access to this information when you arrive at school. If your student tests using any rapid over-the-counter antigen test, you must also report results to DC Health at coronavirus.dc.gov/overthecounter.
- What if I cannot access the DCPS website?
If you do not have access to a computer or tablet, please bring a photograph or copy of the negative test results to school and a staff member will support you with uploading your results.
- What do I do if my child’s results are positive?
Please call your school office to notify them of a positive test result so that your school knows your child will not be present while they quarantine. Additionally, all DC residents should report any over-the-counter test results to coronavirus.dc.gov/overthecounter.
Students who test positive must isolate for a minimum of ten (10) days from the onset of symptoms or their positive test result if asymptomatic. They cannot report for in-person activities and should remain at home during this time. This includes students who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19. On day 11, students may return to in-person activities if it has been at last been at least 24 hours after the fever has resolved without the use of fever-reducing medication (e.g., Motrin, Tylenol) and other symptoms have improved; AND at least ten days after symptoms first appeared, whichever is later.
Any student who is asymptomatic and tests positive must isolate for a minimum of ten (10) days from the date they took the test. They cannot report for in-person activities and should remain at home during this time. This includes students who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19. On day 11, students may return to in-person activities.
- What happens if a student comes to school without a negative test result or proof of a negative test?
Students who have not tested or uploaded results will not be allowed to enter the school and will be provided a COVID-19 At-Home Rapid Antigen Test kit. Parents or guardians must test their child(ren) and upload results to the dcps.dc.gov/safereturn website. Students will be permitted to enter the school when the negative result has been uploaded and displayed.
- If my student previously tested positive for COVID-19, are they still required to take a rapid antigen test?
All students are staff should be tested irrespective of vaccine status and past infections.
- What if a student has opted out of asymptomatic testing at school, will they still be required to take the COVID-19 At-Home Rapid Antigen Test or other COVID-19 test in January?
Yes. Unless a student has a doctor’s note indicating they cannot take any COVID tests, they must show a negative COVID-19 result to enter school in January.
- My child rides the bus to school; what do I need to do before they get on the bus?
Parents and guardians must upload their child’s COVID-19 test results prior to the bus picking up their child. Students who do not have COVID-19 negative result will be expected to take a COVID-19 At-Home Rapid Antigen Test on site.
- Does this process guarantee all schools will be open on January 6 and 7, 2022?
We know the best place for our students to learn is in the classroom, and our objective is to reopen all our schools. However, if a school cannot open due to the operational impact of student or staff absences because of COVID-19, we will notify families as quickly as possible.
- If I have a negative test result but have symptoms. Am I safe to come to school?
No. Students should continue to follow the “Ask, Ask, Look” protocol and must not come to school if experiencing COVID-19 symptoms.
- My student tested positive over winter break for COVID-19 and is currently isolating. Who should I notify?
Please reach out to your school’s main office to notify school so that their absences can be coded appropriately. Please follow all isolation guidance from DC Health and your medical professionals.
Students who test positive must isolate for a minimum of ten days from the onset of symptoms. They cannot report for in-person activities and should remain at home during this time. This includes students who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19. On day 11, students may return to in-person activities as long as it has been at last been at least 24 hours after the fever has resolved without the use of fever-reducing medication (e.g., Motrin, Tylenol) and other symptoms have improved; AND at least ten days after symptoms first appeared, whichever is later.
Any student who is asymptomatic and tests positive must isolate for a minimum of ten days from the date they took the test. They cannot report for in-person activities and should remain at home during this time. This includes students who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19. On day 11, students may return to in-person activities.
- My student was a close contact of someone who tested positive for COVID-19 but tested negative. Is my student safe to come to school?
Any unvaccinated individual who was in close contact with an individual with COVID-19 must quarantine for ten days from the last date of exposure. Your student can take a test on or after day 5 to be able to end quarantine beginning on day 8 as long as they do not have symptoms of COVID-19.
- I have a test result from a PCR test or an at-home rapid test I got from another location; can I use that?
Yes! Any COVID-19 test administered within 24 hours prior to the return to school can be provided. Please upload the results of each student’s COVID-19 test administered within 48 hours of returning to school online at dcps.dc.gov/safereturn.
- My child got a positive result on their COVID-19 At-Home Rapid Antigen Test and a follow-up COVID-19 PCR test was negative. Can they return to school?
Under current guidance from DC Health, DC Public Schools treats any positive test result as a positive test. A student must isolate for ten days prior to returning to school.
- My children were exposed to COVID-19 over the winter break and are not vaccinated. Should we still test to return to school, or should they complete their quarantine?
Please complete your quarantine for the length and duration required. Please take your COVID-19 At-Home Rapid Antigen Test and upload your negative result within 24 hours of their planned return to in-person learning. Please notify your school that your student is out due to a COVID-19 quarantine through your school’s attendance protocol.
- My child was exposed to COVID-19 over the winter break and is vaccinated. Should we still test to return to school?
Fully vaccinated students do not need to quarantine if they are not showing symptoms. We do recommend that fully vaccinated students who are a close contact take a COVID-19 test between 3 and 5 days after they are exposed. Fully vaccinated individuals who experience any COVID-19 symptoms must not attend schools and should isolate from others, contact their healthcare provider, and get tested for COVID-19.
- Who do I contact with questions regarding this policy?
- For questions regarding at-home COVID-19 tests, please visit the Department of Health website at https://coronavirus.dc.gov/testyourself.
- For questions regarding school location and hours of COVID-19 At-Home Antigen Tests, please contact your school’s office on January 4 or 5.
- For questions regarding the website functionality of uploading tests, please call 202-442-5885 and press 1 to be connected to the DCPS Family & Student Tech Call Center.
- What else should I keep in mind after getting a negative result for my child on their COVID-19 At-Home Rapid Antigen Test?
Continue to monitor your student for any symptoms of COVID-19. If they are showing any symptoms and/or they are required to quarantine if they are unvaccinated and identified as a close contact to an individual who tested positive for COVID-19, keep your student at home, regardless of their test result.
- How will my child’s attendance be recorded during the first week of January?
On January 4 and 5, schools will be closed to allow staff and students to complete COVID-19 testing. Beginning January 6, 2022, attendance for students who have not completed testing will not be permitted entry and their absence will be unexcused. A parent or guardian’s written note can serve to document such an absence, but please note that if a student is absent for five (5) or more consecutive days, further official documentation is required.