Reminder: K-12 COVID-19 Testing Project

Date:  November 19, 2020   
Subject: Reminder: K-12 COVID-19 Testing Project
Category: COVID-19 Testing Opt-in Opportunity
Next Steps:  Determine eligibility and opt-in if interested


As school systems across the state consider all available resources to continue to provide on-campus instruction while also keeping students, teachers, and staff safe, the Texas Education Agency (TEA) seeks to remind public and private schools that there are COVID-19 rapid tests available for school use through the K-12 COVID-19 Testing Project. In particular, we believe some school systems may find these useful in limiting the operational impact of COVID-19 following the Thanksgiving holiday by having another helpful tool available to help protect the health and safety of their students, teachers, and staff. 

In Texas, consistent with national trend data, we have seen little evidence of school-driven outbreaks. However, the K-12 COVID-19 Testing Project provides an opportunity for school systems to be proactive in both testing symptomatic individuals and screening staff and/or students to prevent asymptomatic individuals from coming on campus. 

Key Points: 

  • In partnership with the Texas Division of Emergency Management (TDEM) and the Department of State Health Services (DSHS), TEA launched the K-12 COVID-19 Testing Project on Wednesday, October 28, 2020. 
  • Any local education agency (LEA) or private school system is eligible to opt in to receive test kits and associated personal protective equipment (PPE) by attesting to providing on-campus instruction to all students who wish to attend on campus. 
  • The tests are provided at no cost to schools that meet the eligibility requirements and can be used for students or campus staff; however, use cannot be mandated. 

Schools can review the opt-in application before submission; additional guidance and FAQs are available on TEA’s COVID-19 website and the TDEM K-12 Testing website

The Abbott BinaxNOW Rapid Test is administered by a certified test administrator. Results are provided in 15 minutes. These tests are highly accurate, with accuracy rates of 97-98 percent for symptomatic individuals. 

As the TSA Hospitalization Percentage changes, the test allocation methodology will be adjusted monthly to reflect those changes and will also adjust the allocations to school systems accordingly the following month. Schools can review their current allocation numbers on the K-12 COVID-19 Testing Project page

For additional information, please email