School Year 2023-2024: Staying Healthy and Safe

At DC Public Schools (DCPS), we will continue to anchor our health and safety measures to current guidance from the Centers for Disease and Control (CDC), DC Health, and the Office of State Superintendent of Education (OSSE). Policies will continue to be reviewed or adjusted for School Year 2023-2024 to address shifts in public health guidance. 


Masks are optional within our schools, and we will foster an environment where all students and staff, whether they choose to wear a mask or not, feel respected. 

All students and staff are welcome to wear a mask if they choose, and we will actively promote a climate where this choice is respected. Families who wish for their child to continue to wear a mask at school should have a conversation with their child about their expectations. 

In school health suites, all visitors (staff, students, and families) will be expected to wear a mask and will be provided a mask upon entry to the health suite.  

People who test positive for COVID-19 should wear a mask when around other people through the 10th day from a positive test or onset of COVID-19 symptoms.  

COVID-19 Vaccination

COVID-19 vaccination is not required but continues to be encouraged. 

Vaccination is the best defense against the spread of COVID-19. Individuals are highly encouraged to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19, including boosters if eligible. Visit for information about the vaccine and free vaccination sites across the city. 

Visit this link for more information about all immunizations required to attend school. 

Stay Home When Sick

People with symptoms of COVID-19 or another contagious illness should stay home. If individuals begin displaying any of the following symptoms while at school, they will be sent home.  

Symptoms of COVID-19 include:  

  • Fever 
  • Chills 
  • Cough 
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing 
  • Fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache 
  • New loss of taste or smell 
  • Sore throat 
  • Congestion or runny nose 
  • Nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea 

Isolation Guidance for Positive Individuals

It is important that families and staff follow current DC Health guidance should they test positive for COVID-19. People who test positive for COVID-19 should continue to wear a mask when around other people through the 10th day from a positive test or onset of COVID-19 symptoms.

COVID-19 Reporting

Staff or students who test positive for COVID-19 should alert their school leader and follow current DC Health guidance for Individuals Who Test Positive. Individuals who test positive are encouraged to follow up with their health care provider.  

At this time, DC Health guidance no longer requires classroom notification(s) of a positive COVID-19 case. DCPS will no longer post public notifications or case numbers. Click here to view all archived COVID-19 updates, weekly data, and case notifications.

Visiting Our Schools

There are no COVID-19 related visitor restrictions in effect. For more information about visiting our schools, please see the DCPS School Visitor Policy

Please note that in August 2023, DCPS issued Expectations for School Visitors for all parents, guardians, volunteers, and other visitors to DCPS schools. 

Page updated: September 7, 2023