COVID-19 Resources for Schools, Students, and Families

COVID-19 Resources for Schools, Students, and Families

What's New – COVID-19 Test Distribution (November, 2023)

To help prevent the spread of COVID-19, the U.S. Department of Education (ED) is working in collaboration with the Administration for Strategic Preparedness and Response at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to provide free COVID-19 tests to school districts.

ED announced this partnership in a letter to Local Education Agencies (LEAs) Regarding the COVID-19 Testing Supply Program on November 29, 2023. Through this program, ED and HHS are offering interested public school districts, including public charter school districts, over-the-counter (OTC) rapid antigen COVID-19 self-tests free of charge for their students, families, staff, and school community. These self-tests are easy to use and can play an important role in containing the spread of the virus in schools and communities. We encourage school districts to make use of this free COVID-19 test offering, which schools may use, for example, to stock school nurses’ offices and main offices with tests; to send test kits home with students or parents; or to distribute by other means to put these valuable safeguards in the hands of students, parents, and staff who need them. Individual schools and community-based organizations are ineligible to register, but are encouraged to partner with a local LEA to order on their behalf. (For example, if you are an individual school that applied, please work with your local school district to coordinate orders through a centralized point of contact.)

Before registering for the program, interested school districts must designate a primary contact who will be responsible for determining the number of self-test kits to order on behalf of the school district, how frequently, and where the self-test kits should be delivered. Once the COVID-19 test kits have been shipped to a delivery address provided by the school district, the primary contact is responsible for receiving the self-test kits and managing distribution to its site(s).

Designated primary contacts with a valid NCES LEA ID (which is different than a NCES School ID) can register for the COVID-19 Testing Supply Program and order these no-cost COVID-19 self-tests before the deadline of May 1, 2024 at 11:59 PM ET. It takes approximately 7-10 business days for ED to process each district’s request to register for the program. Once approved, primary contacts will receive a confirmation email with information on next steps, which includes attending a 30-minute training on how to order test kits through HHS’s Administration for Strategic Preparedness and Response’s Health Partner Ordering Portal (HPOP).

The latest information on respiratory virus guidance, including COVID-19, flu, RSV, and other respiratory viruses, can be found at CDC’s updated Respiratory Virus Guidance released on March 1st, 2024.

Thank you for your continued dedication to keeping students and staff safe and keeping our schools safely for in-person learning.

ED COVID-19 Resources

There are several Department of Education COVID-19 resources available for states, communities, educators, and families. These resources include guidance and policies related to elementary and secondary educationspecial education, postsecondary education, and other aspects of lifelong learning. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) also continues to provide updated guidance for school settings.

If you are a contractor looking for information regarding doing business with ED during the pandemic, please visit the Contracts page.

Additional Department of Education Resources