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Mandatory Alcohol and Drug Testing

What is DC Public Schools’ Mandatory Drug and Alcohol Testing program?

As mandated by the Child and Youth, Safety and Health Omnibus Amendment Act of 2004 (CYSHA), DCPS has implemented a Mandatory Drug and Alcohol Testing (MDAT) Program. Under CYSHA, all individuals in “safety-sensitive” positions – those with a significant degree of contact with students – must be subject to drug and alcohol testing. Individuals in “safety-sensitive positions” will be subject to testing 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

How do I obtain a drug test for employment/service with DCPS?

Obtaining a drug test for employment with DCPS is easy, secure, and free of cost to candidates. Drug testing is one pre-employment/service requirement that must be fulfilled prior to working at a DCPS location. However, it is not necessary to seek drug testing ahead of time—you will be prompted when to begin the drug testing process. Please note that drug testing must be completed within fifteen (15) days of the date you receive the instructions on how to schedule your test.

Once you are selected for hire:

School based staff - Within 4-6 business days of your information being received by MDAT, you will receive an email from [email protected] containing a link for you to schedule and complete your drug screening test. Once your test is complete, the MDAT team will receive your drug testing results and provide them to the Staffing team.

Central Office based school staff, & After-School staff - Candidates should submit their personal information to MDAT to start the drug testing process by completing the MDAT Microsoft Form which is included in the body of the “FYI -- Your DCPS Application: Next Steps” email that they received when selected for hire. Within 4-6 business days of your information being received by MDAT, you will receive an email from [email protected] with a link to schedule your appointment. You must sign up for drug testing within fifteen (15) days of receiving the email containing the link to schedule your appointment. Once your test is complete, MDAT will receive your drug test results and update the Staffing team accordingly.

Failure to complete drug testing will result in automatic cancellation of your hire request.

Contractors – A contractor is someone who is receiving pay for services provided to DCPS, either independently or through a partner organization, but is not an employee of DCPS. Each partner organization should direct their contractors to submit their personal information to MDAT to start the drug testing process by completing the MDAT Microsoft Form which is included in the Clearance Application link. Within 4-6 business days of your information being received by MDAT, you will receive an email from [email protected] with a link to schedule your appointment. You must sign up for drug testing within fifteen (15) days of receiving the email containing the link to schedule your appointment.

Please note, if you been approved to use medical marijuana, whether in DC or outside of DC, you are required to provide that documentation to the DCPS MDAT team prior to starting your employment or contractor position with DCPS.

If you have questions regarding your drug screening test, please contact the MDAT team at [email protected].

How do I obtain my drug test results?

Employees

Your drug testing results are communicated from the medical facility to DCPS, typically within five (5) business days following the test date. Your employment file will be updated accordingly—it is not necessary for you to collect your drug testing results to provide to DCPS. Once we have evidence that you have cleared the background check and the drug test, you will receive notification regarding your status in the onboarding process.

Contractors

Your drug testing results are communicated from the medical facility to DCPS, typically within five (5) business days following the test date. Once all the clearance requirements have been completed you will receive a letter indicating that you are cleared which you should forward to your organization/agency

Drug Test Results from Outside Entities

If a contractor has previously submitted to a drug test with their partner organization, and there has not been a break in service with the organization, the organization must submit a copy of the drug test results, containing at least the following four categories of prohibited substances: methamphetamines, opiates, cocaine, and Phencyclidine (PCP) to MDAT at [email protected]. The results must be submitted prior to the contractor completing the MDAT Form that is embedded in the Clearance Application. The MDAT team will review the results of all drug testing and will notify the individual and partner organization of the results. If the results are sufficient, the MDAT team will update the Clearance Data Base with the drug test results.

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

If any individual does not pass the drug test, they are not eligible for employment or to be a contractor in a safety-sensitive position with DCPS for a period of one year.

If a current employee, contractor, or volunteer is required to take a drug and alcohol test as part of the reasonable suspicion process and does not pass the drug and alcohol test, they are subject to termination/removal from their position and will be denied subsequent appointment to a position within DCPS for a period of one year.

Which substances does DCPS test for?

The pre-employment drug test for employees is used to determine the presence of the following illegal drugs/controlled substances – marijuana, cocaine, opiates, amphetamines, and phencyclidine.

The pre-service drug test for contractors is used to determine the presence of the following illegal drugs/controlled substances –cocaine, opiates, amphetamines, and phencyclidine.

As part of the reasonable suspicion process individuals will be tested for the presence of drugs, including marijuana, and alcohol.

Who is subject to testing?

DCPS has determined that applicants for employee and contractor positions with unsupervised interactions with students are deemed to be in “safety sensitive” positions and are subject to testing; this applies to both instructional and non-instructional positions.

Is there a cost for the drug and alcohol test?

There is no cost to applicants, employees, or contractors for the test. DCPS pays for the full cost of the test.

I must 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 same 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 fullest extent permitted by law.

Contact

DCPS Mandatory Drug and Alcohol Testing Program

Phone (202) 724-5682
Fax (202-535-2817
Email [email protected]

For additional questions, please review the MDAT FAQs[PDF].

If you would like additional information regarding the MDAT program as a prospective employee, please review the DCPS Pre-Employment Mandatory Drug Testing Policy.

If you would like additional information regarding the MDAT program as a current employee, please review the DCPS Employee Mandatory Drug and Alcohol Testing Policy.