DC Schools Are Still Enforcing COVID Protocols, Keeping Kids Out Of Class As Grades Plummet

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Reagan Reese Contributor
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D.C. Public Schools are still enforcing COVID-19 protocols that keep students out of the classroom as test scores plummet, according to Fox 5 News.

Prior to spring break, DCPS, which is made up of 115 schools and nearly 50,000 students, sent families COVID-19 testing kits, requiring students and staff to submit negative test results to the district 24 hours before attending classes on Monday, according to Fox 5 News. Of third through eighth graders, 31% of students met English grade level expectations in the 2021-2022 school year, a decline from 37% during the 2018-2019 school year, according to the D.C. Policy Center. (RELATED: Hundreds Of Millions Of COVID-19 Aid Never Reached K-12 School Districts: REPORT)

In the 2021-2022 school year, 19% of third through eighth graders tested proficient in math, a decline from 31% during the 2018-2019 school year, according to the D.C. Policy Center.

About 18% of DCPS high schoolers met Scholastic Assessment Test (SAT) benchmarks, a test used to determine a student’s readiness, in the 2021-2022 school year, the D.C. Policy Center stated. Students of color meeting SAT benchmarks dropped 3% in the 2021-2022 school year, falling to 9%.

“In implementing our Safe Return testing program in December and February, we were able to keep our schools open as students, families and staff returned to the classroom following week-long breaks,” Lewis D. Ferebee, DCPS chancellor said in a press release. “Our priority is to keep our students safely learning in the classroom, where we know they learn best. We appreciate the partnership of our entire community to collectively take this step to limit the spread of COVID-19 in our schools.”

If a student tests positive for COVID-19, the school requires the child to quarantine for a minimum of 10 days from the beginning of their symptoms, Fox 5 News reported. Prior to spring break, nine DCPS students tested positive for COVID-19.

This is the fourth time the district has required students and staff to test negative for COVID-19 following a break in the 2022-2023 school year, according to Fox 5 News.

Following winter break, less than 1% of DCPS students tested positive for COVID-19, Fox 5 News reported. Of the 6,133 DCPS staff members, less than 2% tested positive upon returning to school in January.

The school district’s “health and safety measures” are “anchored” in the guidance from the Center for Disease and Control (CDC), D.C. Health and the Office of State Superintendent of Education, according to the DCPS website. The CDC no longer recommends that K-12 schools require routine testing for students and faculty.

DCPS did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.

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