COVID Update: Test to Stay

Bethesda ES was selected to participate in the Test-To-Stay Pilot Program (TTS). Below is information about TTS.  

In partnership with the Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) is pleased to offer a quarantine alternative for your student.

Test to Stay protocol is for students who have been exposed to COVID-19 while in school

  • Test to Stay allows unvaccinated and partially vaccinated, asymptomatic students who were exposed to a person who tested positive for COVID-19 at school to remain in school as long as they have no symptoms.
  • Instead of missing school, these students will be administered a daily BinaxNOW rapid test at school by DHHS health staff.
  • Students must continue to quarantine outside of the school day (not attending athletic, recreational, or extracurricular activities or going out in public spaces).
  • Students participate in Test to Stay for a minimum of five days after they may have been exposed. 

You will be notified directly, if your child is eligible to participate in the “Test to Stay” Pilot Program.

The goal of the “Test and Stay” quarantine protocol is to allow students to remain in school as safely as possible, while lessening the burden of quarantine on students, their families, teachers, and school administrators. Under the “Test to Stay” approach, students who come into contact with an individual who tests positive at school, on the school bus or at a school sponsored extracurricular activity will have the option to:

1. Quarantine for 10 days and not attend school, OR

2. Participate in the “Test to Stay” protocol and be allowed to attend school with daily testing

  • Those who participate in the “Test to Stay” protocol may remain in school as long as they have no symptoms and participate in daily COVID-19 testing at school for 5 days following their exposure. Students in the “Test to Stay” quarantine protocol will also have to: 
    • Wear a mask at all times while at school, including outdoors, other than eating or drinking;
    • When unmasked, (e.g., eating/drinking, mask break) they should be physically distanced at least 3 feet from others whenever possible;
    • Continue to actively monitor for COVID-19 symptoms for 14 days; and
    • If symptoms develop, do not send your child to school for testing. They must isolate at home and inform the school immediately. 

The “Test to Stay” protocol consists of a daily nasal swab performed by a qualified healthcare professional for 5 consecutive days following exposure. For your child to be eligible for this program, we must have a signed consent on file before testing can occur. If we do NOT have a consent form on file, your child will need to quarantine for 10 days. Your student may not come to school for testing without a completed consent form on file. This is the same form as the one used for weekly COVID pool testing.  If you have not already given consent, you may complete the  online consent form here: