Mandatory Drug and Alcohol Testing Program 


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As part of our mission to maintain safe schools for our students and employees—and as mandated by the Child and Youth, Safety and Health Omnibus Amendment Act of 2004 (CYSHA)—DCPS is implementing a Mandatory Drug and Alcohol Testing (MDAT) Program. 

Under CYSHA, all employees in “safety-sensitive” positions – those with a significant degree of contact with students – must be subject to drug and alcohol testing. Employees in “safety-sensitive positions” will be subject to testing as of August 5, 2013 in the following cases: upon reasonable suspicion of drug or alcohol use, before being permitted to return to duty after seeking drug or alcohol treatment, as a follow-up to drug or alcohol treatment, and after an accident that could reasonably be attributed to drug or alcohol use. 

Employee Mandatory Drug and Alcohol Testing Policy

To review the Employee Mandatory Drug and Alcohol Testing Policy, click here.

All employees in “safety-sensitive” positions must acknowledge receipt of the Policy in Quickbase or via the downloadable form attached here. 

If you have additional questions regarding prohibited conduct, circumstances for testing, or consequences for employees, click here to review the Employee Guide to Understanding the MDAT Program.

Pre-Employment Mandatory Drug Testing Policy

Individuals seeking employment in “safety-sensitive” positions are also subject to drug testing.  If tentatively selected for a “safety-sensitive” position, a candidate shall be required to submit to testing for illegal drug use prior to employment, and employment shall be contingent upon negative test results.  To review the Employee Mandatory Drug and Alcohol Testing Policy, click here.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which substances does DCPS test for?

The drug test is used to determine the presence of the following illegal drugs/controlled substances – marijuana, cocaine, opiates, amphetamines, and phencyclidine.   Applicants are tested for the presence of drugs only.  Employees are tested for the presence of both drugs and alcohol. 

Who is subject to testing?

DCPS has determined that all applicants and employees for school-based positions, both instructional and non-instructional, are subject to testing.

Is there a cost for the drug and alcohol test?

There is no cost to candidates or employees for the drug test.  DCPS pays for the full cost of the test. 

Does DCPS provide drug-test result status updates to candidates?

No, DCPS does not provide drug test result status updates to candidates.

I have to take prescription medication on a regular basis.  Will this cause a positive test?

If the first test result is positive, the testing lab will automatically conduct a second test (from the specimen) to confirm that it is not a false positive result. If both test results are positive, the Medical Review Officer will contact the donor to determine if there is a legitimate medical reason for the positive result.

What do I do if I suspect that a co-worker is under the influence of drugs or alcohol?

DCPS employees are required to report any suspected drug or alcohol abuse on the part of another employee to a supervisor, or directly to the MDAT Team.  Reports will be held confidential to the full extent permitted by law.

What happens if a candidate does not pass the drug test?

If a candidate does not pass the drug test, they are not eligible for employment in a safety-sensitive position with DCPS for a period of three years.   

What happens if an employee does not pass the drug test?

If an employee does not pass the drug test, they are subject to termination and will be denied subsequent appointment to a position within DCPS for a period of three years.

If You are Struggling with Addiction

If you are currently struggling with drug or alcohol addiction, please immediately contact the MDAT program via phone (202) 724-5682 or email, so that you can confidentially receive the appropriate treatment and avoid disciplinary action.

Employee Assistance Program 

The Employee Assistance Program (EAP) offers confidential counseling, makes referrals, as appropriate, to drug and alcohol abuse counseling and rehabilitation programs, crisis intervention programs, and other follow-up services.  Employees may access EAP services on their own or via a referral from the Mandatory Drug and Alcohol Testing Team.

DCPS employees may obtain Employee Assistance Program (EAP) Services on their own.  DCPS uses COPE Incorporated for EAP services.  Please call (202) 628-5100 or visit for more information.

Program Contact Information

DCPS Mandatory Drug and Alcohol Testing Program

  • Phone   (202) 724-5682
  • Fax          (202) 654-6047
  • Email

If you are a DCPS employee in a “safety-sensitive” position and need to complete your acknowledgment of the Notification of Drug and Alcohol Testing click here.

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