Returning to School After Winter Break

 Returning Back to School 

Test for COVID-19

As we have seen in years past, COVID-19 spreads more rapidly when students and staff are gathering outside of the classroom on school breaks. This often leads to higher cases in our school communities when students and staff return. 

Before returning to class on Monday, we highly encourage everyone to test for COVID-19. You can use the rapid at-home COVID-19 tests that were made available at every CPS school prior to Winter Break. Tests are also available for free at any Chicago Public Library. Click here to find your local branch and please call ahead to ensure availability of tests. You can also get tests at many medical providers, pharmacies, grocery stores, and other locations. You can also request free rapid at-home COVID tests online at; however, these tests may not arrive in time to test before returning to school.

To sign up for free, weekly in-school COVID-19 testing, please visit

Stay Home If You Feel Sick or Test Positive

If a staff member or student tests positive for COVID-19, please report the positive test here and please follow the guidance here. For those who test positive: isolate at home for five days, or if symptoms persist after five days, continue to isolate at home until symptoms resolve. Upon returning to school, wear a mask until ten days after symptom onset or ten days after the positive test if asymptomatic.

If you feel ill, please stay home, test for COVID-19 and contact your medical provider for additional testing and treatment if necessary.

Mask Up

To prevent the spread of COVID, flu, RSV, and other airborne illnesses, CPS strongly recommends that students and staff wear a mask in school, especially when returning to school after breaks. Masks are available upon request at any CPS school.