COVID Testing for Students

Summary: Students can take a test at their school or at a regional testing site.

COVID-19 Testing Clinic for Students and Staff Available

Testing for Students at School or Two Regional Testing Sites

Student Assigned School: Students may test at their school with a completed parent consent form. Learn more about student testing at their school.

Regional testing sites are also available. Learn more about regional COVID testing.

  • South Shore PreK-8, Monday through Friday, 4 – 8 p.m.
  • Meany Middle School, Wednesday through Friday, 5 – 8 p.m. 

After Results

If your child tests positive for COVID-19 

Please review SPS requirements for returning to school after being diagnosed with COVID-19 or if your child has recently been exposed to someone with COVID-19. Please do not send your child to school if they are sick. 

  • You will get confirmation by text or email 
  • Please let your child’s school know immediately if your child tests positive. This helps stop the spread of the virus and helps keep schools open.  
  • The central office nursing team will contact your family to provide additional information including when your child can return to school.  

If your child tests negative for COVID-19  


Testing at Student School

Who is encouraged to test? 

  • Testing is free and insurance is not required.     
  • All SPS students are encouraged to test. 
  • Testing is voluntary. 

Where: The school your student is current enrolled

Registration and Consent:

  • All sites (except South Shore PreK-8 and Meany) to register and provide consent in advance for all testing sites complete this online registration form.
  • You will be asked to share a printout or screen shot of the registration confirmation pop-up when you arrive. 
  • Translated consent forms will be available at the SPS testing sites or can be printed and completed at home.

Regional Testing Sites

Who is encouraged to test? 

  • Testing is free and insurance is not required.     
  • All SPS students are encouraged to test. 
  • Testing is voluntary. 

Where: Meany and South Shore

Meany Middle School (Central District)
301 21st Ave. E
Wednesday through Friday, 5 – 8 p.m. 

South Shore PreK-8 School (Southeast Seattle)
4800 Henderson St.
Monday through Friday, 4 – 8 p.m.

Registration and Consent: South Shore PreK-8 and Meany registration and test consent can be done in advance or at the clinic. Advance registration will speed up the testing process. You can register online but will need a phone to receive an access code by text.   

  1. Register yourself as a user. Parents or guardians must be registered before adding your child to the testing portal. 
    • Tip: Type in your phone number, don’t use auto fill.     
  2. Select your child’s school and sign the consent.    
  3. Click the “Ready to Test” graphic.   
    • Click “OK” when the popup box confirming your visit appears.    
  4. At the bottom of the screen use the + sign to add your student as a companion    
  5. Complete the consent form.    
  6. Share the testing QR code with clinic staff when you arrive     

Frequently Asked Questions

Why was there no school for students on Monday?

We are happy to announce that we now have 60,000 rapid antigen tests available for staff and students, which were provided by the Washington State Department of Health. In light of the surge in COVID-19 transmission in our community due to the Omicron virus, we’ll be using these tests to support a healthy return to school.

Seattle Public Schools will offer voluntary, universal testing for SPS staff and students on January 3. 

This means there will be no school for SPS students on Monday, January 3. School will resume in-person on Tuesday. There will be no athletic practices. We encourage families to contact their childcare provider to determine if they will be open on Monday.   

Our goal in providing wide-scale testing is to minimize the transmission of the Omicron virus and reduce intermittent disruptions to in-person learning. Because 80% to 90% of positive cases are asymptomatic, identifying them before, and quickly after, classes resume will reduce the spread of the virus in our schools. 

With the spread of the Omicron variant, why will schools be open in January?  

Students learn best in the classroom, and schools are the safest place for your student. Adults and 2/3 of the student body have been vaccinated, and the vaccine is proving to be highly effective at preventing serious illness and hospitalizations from the Omicron variant. By offering universal testing on Monday, we can identify positive cases and remove those testing positive from schools before bringing students back to school on Tuesday.  

SPS buildings have several layers of mitigation, including air circulation, universal masking, social distancing, and in every school on-site diagnostic testing, a COVID compliance officer, and a protected health room. Rapid antigen testing will be offered to students on a rolling basis throughout the week. 

SPS is following the most recent guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Washington Department of Health, and Seattle-King County Public Health in policy and practice from prevention and testing to keeping students safe and in classrooms to minimize learning loss. 

Do staff all report in person for the whole work day on Monday?   

Monday is an in-person, on-site work day for all SPS staff.  Certified (SEA staff) staff work 4 hours on Monday, 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. 

Could you please explain the framework for deciding whether to change to remote learning? 

SPS follows continuity of operations principles and regularly reviews a variety of factors that inform decisions about school operations, including COVID cases, staffing levels, and other variables that contribute to safe and reliable learning environments. 

Why not require a negative test before a student can return to school? 

SPS does not have the authority to require a negative test as a condition of attending school. If students do test positive, we follow CDC guidance to enforce quarantine. 

If my school doesn’t have lunch available on Monday, can I get lunch at another school? 

Families can pick up meals at the closest school. If Culinary Services can’t operate every lunchroom, SPS will post on its website which schools don’t have meals. 

Vaccines, testing, and quarantine 

Can students get tested in locations outside of their attendance regions?  

Yes. On Monday, SPS offers regional clinics, open to all students. After Monday, students can test at their school during the day or at one of the evening regional testing sites: South Shore PreK-8 and beginning January 5 Meany Middle School. 

Can families get tested at student testing locations? 

No, the COVID tests offered at student testing locations are just for students at this time. 

CDC just shortened quarantine periods. Why is SPS requiring students to stay home for ten days?  

WA DOH recommends that people staying, working and learning in schools continue to follow existing DOH and CDC guidance, not the general public guidance updates earlier this week.  

My student is vaccinated, free of symptoms, and hasn’t been exposed. Is a negative test required for them to return to school? 

No. Our clinics are there to help support families and staff who may need or want the assistance. However, school-based tests are optional; documented tests are encouraged but not required. 

Is there a reason the vaccines aren’t being mandated at this point?  

The State Board of Health determines which vaccines are mandatory for public school students. The SPS School Board has passed a resolution encouraging the state to mandate COVID vaccines for public school students. 

Why doesn’t SPS require unvaccinated students to learn remotely? 

SPS does not have the legal authority to deny access to school buildings to enrolled students or to require vaccinations as a condition on attending school. We encourage students to be vaccinated and have been able to offer 108 school-based and regional vaccine clinics since November. 

Will the vaccine clinics also be for booster shots? 

Eligible adults can get the third dose, or booster shot, of the vaccine at an SPS clinic. 

We need on-site testing before school resumes at all schools.  

SPS offered testing for all staff and for students in central and southeast regions on Sunday, January 2, and is offering testing on January 3 to SPS staff and students prior to students return to buildings on January 4. Testing will continue throughout the week of January 3. 

New York City is implementing testing for all, why can’t SPS with a far smaller student population? 

Students need parental consent to test, and while NYC offered testing to all students, just 30% of its students had adult consent to test. We are offering testing for staff and students throughout the week of January 3, starting with universal testing of staff on Monday before students return to buildings on Tuesday, January 4. 

Why isn’t SPS using “test to stay?” 

During the winter break, SPS received approval from the state to implement test to stay and is working with its vendors to implement.  This policy allows students who have been exposed to someone with a positive test for COVID to remain in school if they show no symptoms and test negative for the virus.   

Wouldn’t it be easier if we had tests at home? 

Right now, if a student has been exposed to the virus or experiencing symptoms, the state is not accepting results of home tests for purposes of school attendance. 

What is the SPS plan for testing/screening all students? 

SPS provides diagnostic testing in schools and has since September 1. Screen testing requires more test resources and personnel to administer than we currently have available. Pool testing, a form of screen testing SPS has been exploring, is not an effective tool for the Omicron variant given the rate of transmission. 

How do schools maintain six feet of distance in classrooms of 30 students? 

Distance is maintained to the extent possible.  Mitigation factors such as HEPA filters, mask wearing and enhanced PPE in some cases are provided to all classrooms.  We have been successful with our mitigation strategies and will continue to monitor.   

Attendance  

What is the attendance policy for students who take a PCR test but don’t get results in time? What is being done to accommodate the absences of those playing it safe? 

Any COVID related absence is an excused absence for SPS students. Please work with your school and teachers on the next steps for learning for your student if an absence is necessary.   

Remote instruction 

Why doesn’t SPS set up a camera in each classroom so that students who need to quarantine can access live classroom instruction?   

Synchronous learning is a hybrid format that could mitigate learning loss. It requires additional preparation and follow-through from instructional staff, and SPS is exploring its viability. Some teachers are currently offering this option for their classes. 

My student didn’t learn very much during nearly two years of remote learning. They are finally beginning to catch up academically and socially.  Why would SPS return to remote instruction?    

Students learn best with in-person instruction, and SPS is planning to keep schools open, with students and teachers in the classroom. If it becomes necessary to transition to remote learning, it should be only briefly and only if necessary to preserve health and safety of students and staff. 

Technology 

Should my student bring their device home every day now? 

Students and staff are encouraged to have a device at home, should their classroom need to shift to remote learning due to the surge in COVID cases or inclement weather.  

Can I pick up my student’s device from school on Monday? 

Most adults won’t be in schools for the full day Monday. On Tuesday, school staff are there to help students retrieve already issued devices or check out a device if your student doesn’t have one. 

As a parent, what do I need to know about tech support? 

You can find helpful information about device distribution, educational software, and SPS tech services on the Technology Support for Families page.   

Can elementary specialists check out an iPads at the start of the year? 

Yes, see your TSS (Technology Support Services) for coordination. 

Wellness and Social Emotional Wellbeing 

The last two years have been hard on everyone. How is SPS supporting the emotional and mental health of students and staff? 

The district has responded to ongoing needed support including wrap around social emotional and wellbeing response to staff and students as needed. SPS has hired additional social workers and has been partnering with school-based health clinics and the City of Seattle in providing coordinated support to schools.  The Behavioral Health team has created social emotional lessons for classroom use along with additional resource materials.   

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