DC Law now requires all students aged 12 and older to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 to stay in school. Submit a copy or photo of your student’s COVID-19 vaccination card to COVID-19 Operations Coordinator, Evelyn Marquez (emarquez@elhaynes.org).
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COVID-19 Process Updates: Test to Stay Policy, Quarantine Timeline, and Returning from February Break

We are instituting a new Test to Stay (TTS) policy, updating the quarantine timeline for people who test positive for COVID-19 but do not experience symptoms, and outlining our plan for returning from February Break. These changes will help continue in-person learning while keeping students and staff as safe as possible. The changes below take effect beginning today, February 15, 2022. 

Test to Stay Program (TTS)

In certain situations, students and staff who are identified as close contacts will now participate in our Test to Stay (TTS) program. This will allow us to make the most of in-person instructional time in alignment with current health guidelines. Participation in the TTS program requires daily rapid antigen testing for the five days following contact and one PCR test (unless the individual is a 90 day positive) on or after the 5th day following exposure. 

We strongly encourage all students, regardless of vaccination status, to participate in the TTS program. This is an expansion of our previous test-to-stay program for certain members of our staff and our youngest learners. This new program applies to all close contact cases where the contact occurred in a classroom setting (not including lunch, nap time, mask breaks, or fitness class).

Updated Quarantine Timeline

Students who test positive for COVID-19 and who have NOT experienced ANY COVID-19-related symptoms at any time beginning 48 hours before they took the test are eligible to shorten their quarantine period. To do so, they must receive a negative rapid antigen test on day 5 and every subsequent day until day 10. This policy applies whether or not your student is vaccinated. 

If the person who tested positive experiences symptoms at ANY point, they must quarantine for the full, or the remainder of their full, 10-day quarantine period or provide documentation from a medical provider that the symptoms are unrelated to COVID-19. Our COVID team will determine if symptoms are or have been present based on interviews and health evaluations. 

If your student meets the eligibility criteria and you want to shorten their quarantine, or they begin to experience symptoms and need to extend their quarantine period, please contact Evelyn Marquez, COVID-19 Operations Coordinator.

While some of these new policies reflect decisions by DC Health and OSSE, we continue to take a more conservative approach to protect our community’s health and safety by including additional layers of testing. As conditions change, we will continue to update our policies based on accurate scientific and public health guidance. 

Returning from February Break: Take-Home Testing Program

Building on the success of our take-home rapid testing program for staff and our youngest learners, we will implement a take-home testing program for ALL students and staff for return to school following February Break. All students and staff will receive a testing kit on Friday, February 18, 2022. The tests must be administered on Sunday, February 27, 2022 and reported through the Student Reporting Form by 1:00 p.m. 

We will review and discuss these new changes, in addition to feedback from the Q2 Community Survey, during our CEO Family Forums tonight and tomorrow:

Thank you for your flexibility and support as we continue adapting to meet the needs of our community.

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