COVID-19 Testing

Arlington Public Schools has two testing partners (CIAN Diagnostics and ResourcePath).  CIAN Diagnostics (starting January 1, 2022) provides weekly optional surveillance training for students and employees in addition to mandatory testing for employees who have an approved vaccine policy exemption.  ResourcePath (starting January 1, 2022) provides daily athletics and activities at the comprehensive high schools, special event drive through, and symptomatic/exposed testing.

Flyer about COVID testing - click to load PDF
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Arlington Public Schools strongly encourages all students and staff to sign up for free weekly COVID testing as part of our overall pandemic strategy to keep each other safe. APS is providing the free asymptomatic testing in partnership with CIAN Diagnostics and ResourcePath. View Optional Testing Schedule

Students and staff who have symptoms of COVID-19, or who have been exposed to someone with COVID-19 (“close contact”), must get a negative test result to return to school or work, or else quarantine. Free testing is available, by appointment, at Kenmore Middle School, from 3:30-7:30 p.m. Mon-Fri and Sat 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. A PCR-RT test is administered by medical staff and results are available through email typically within 24 hours. More information and appointments on the ResourcePath website

Weekly Optional Asymptomatic Testing – How It Works

Arlington Public Schools in partnership with CIAN conducts asymptomatic weekly testing of students and staff using individual PCR test collection. In the weekly testing program, all participants who sign up are given a soft cotton swab to insert into both nostrils approximately 1.5 inches. The cotton swab is then placed in an individual test kit, and samples are scanned for COVID-19 using a “pooled” testing process for efficiency and timeliness, at the laboratory. If a sample in the pool comes back positive, the identified positive individual sample will be run a second time by itself to confirm. Other participants in the pool will not be required to quarantine. Pooling reduces the amount of time required to test large numbers of students without limiting effectiveness.

Weekly testing programs have proven to be successful across the country in K-12 settings to keep students in the classroom and schools open, stopping outbreaks before COVID-19 has a chance to spread.

To participate, CIAN needs a signed consent form from a parent/guardian which can be found here. Symptomatic PCR-RT test results are typically available 24 to 48 hours and are emailed directly to parents. For those students or staff who test positive, the laboratory will call directly to relay the results and provide specific advice regarding further action.

More information on pool based PCR testing:

  • Pooling specimens allows the laboratory to test more individuals using fewer testing materials. Pooling is safe and effective and can also increase efficiency and reduce the cost of testing.
  • Pooling reduces test sensitivity to ensure an accurate baseline for all pooled samples.
  • Pooling is a testing methodology that can be used when performing Nucleic Acid Amplification Tests (NAATs) provided the test has received an FDA authorization for pooling.

Strategized Surveillance Program Overview

  • Students participating in testing will be able to administer the PCR mid-nasal swab with the support and supervision of a provider. It is a quick and easy process that takes place at a set time weekly for their school.
  • At the laboratory, technicians will receive the individual PCR mid-nasal swabs from the school and create a pool not exceed 6 students and run as a group through one laboratory test, preserving the original individual test collected.  This method of testing does not impact the integrity of individual samples collected.
  • If a pool comes up positive, the lab uses an formula to determine which samples to test for confirmation of which student(s) are positive. These confirmation results will be followed up with a running of the individual sample(s) identified to confirm positive status.
  • As a precaution, all students identified in the pool will be excluded from in person instruction and activities while results are confirmed.  Families receive definitive confirmation of the positive results after individual sample(s) are confirmed within 12-24 hours.
  • Students in the pool will not need to quarantine during this process unless they are identified as a suspected case using the algorithm on the pooled samples.
  • In select circumstances an additional sample may need to be obtained in order to ensure test result assurance.

Testing Schedule

Staff required to participate in weekly surveillance as part of their exemption from the vaccination mandate should get tested during their two hour time block for their work location.  If an employee misses their two hour block they may go the immediate next day to at comprehensive high school (e.g., Wakefield, Washington-Liberty, Yorktown) between 3:30 PM and 6:30 PM.

School Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
Abingdon Elementary School 7:30-9:30
Alice West Fleet Elementary School 8:30 – 10:30
Arlington Career Center 7:30- 9:30
Arlington Community High School 11:30-1:30
Arlington Science Focus School 8:30-10:30
Arlington Traditional School 1:30-3:30
Ashlawn Elementary School 2:00-4:00
Barcroft Elementary School 11:30-1:30
Campbell Elementary School 10:30- 12:30
Cardinal Elementary School 10:00-12:00
Carlin Springs Elementary School 1:30-3:00
Claremont Immersion 1:00-4:00
Discovery  Elementary School 11:30-1:30
Dorothy Hamm Middle School 7:30-9:30
Dr. Charles R. Drew Elementary School 10:00-12:00
Escuela Key School 12:00 – 2:00
Eunice Shriver Program 1:00-1:30
Glebe Elementary School 2:00-4:00
Gunston Middle School 7:30-11:00
H-B Woodlawn Secondary 2:00-4:30
Hoffman Boston Elementary School 8:30-10:30
Innovation Elementary School 11:30-1:30
Jamestown  Elementary School 8:30-10:30
Kenmore Middle School 10:00-12:00
KW Barrett  Elementary School 10:30-12:30
Langston and New Directions 2:00-3:30
Long Branch  Elementary School 8:00-10:00
Montessori Public School of Arlington 2:00-4:00
Nottingham Elementary School 11:30-1:30
Oakridge Elementary School 12:00-2:00
Randolph Elementary School 1:30-3:30
Swanson Middle School 7:30-9:30
Syphax Education Center 2:00-4:00
Taylor Elementary School 2:00-4:00
Thomas Jefferson Middle School 7:30-9:30
Trades Center 2:30-4:00
Tuckahoe Elementary School 8:30-10:30
Wakefield High School 10:30-6:30 10:30-6:30 10:30-6:30 10:30-6:30 10:30-6:30
Washington-Liberty High School 10:30-6:30 10:30-6:30 10:30-6:30 10:30-6:30 10:30-6:30
Williamsburg Middle School 10:00-1:00
Yorktown High School 10:30-6:30 10:30-6:30 10:30-6:30 10:30-6:30 10:30-6:30


Discontinue Participation – Athletic and Activities (opt-out)

Students and staff who wish to discontinue participation in athletic or activity testing through ResourcePath may do so by providing their request in writing to ResourcePath via the following link: apsvassurveillanceoptout.  Parents/Guardians should enter their student ID number by using S plus the number (e.g., S1234567) instead of just the number (e.g., 1234567).  Opt out requests are processed every Thursday at 5 PM for the following week.


Discontinue Participation – Optional (opt-out)

Students and staff who wish to discontinue participation in optional testing through CIAN Diagnostics may do so by providing their request in writing to via email to using the subject line “Testing – Opt Out.”  Parents/Guardians should include their student ID number, student full name, school, and date of birth in their request to opt out.  Opt out requests are typically processed within 24-48 hours.