COVID-19 Testing in Schools Complex But Doable, Worth the Effort
Mar 9, 2021
To help schools safely return to in-person instruction, this report describes approaches that early adopters of COVID-19 testing in U.S. K–12 schools were using as of December 2020, highlighting key facilitators that made testing feasible, acceptable, and effective. It also provides recommendations to school leaders, district officials, and policymakers on how to support the implementation of COVID-19 testing in schools.
Insights from Early Adopters
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To help schools safely return to in-person instruction and expand coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) testing of teachers, other staff, and students, it will be imperative to successfully scale up and spread promising practices from K–12 schools and districts that were early adopters of COVID-19 testing in the fall semester of 2020. This report describes approaches that early adopters of COVID-19 testing in U.S. K–12 schools were using as of December 2020, highlighting key facilitators that made testing feasible, acceptable, and effective in these schools.
In the first half of the report, the authors describe the landscape of testing as of December 2020, summarize the benefits and costs of early adopters' testing programs, and offer recommendations to school leaders, district officials, and policymakers for implementing feasible, acceptable, and effective COVID-19 testing in K–12 schools. They then profile COVID-19 testing programs in selected schools, districts, and states, with a focus on describing the practical details of their testing approaches, challenges they had to overcome, and key factors that facilitated their efforts.
Overview and Key Findings
Profiles of Early Adopters
Additional Detail on Study Methods
This research was funded by The Rockefeller Foundation and conduced by the Access and Delivery Program within RAND Health Care and RAND Education and Labor.
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