As we navigate through this pandemic for the third school year, safety continues to be our top priority, and EB will continue to follow the COVID-19 K-12 Guidance for Public Schools, which was issued by the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) on June 30, 2022, as well as advice from the City of Berkeley Health Department.
The principle mitigation strategies are based around vaccination, recommended masking, OTC testing as needed, classroom ventilation, and enhanced sanitation and cleaning procedures.
MAIN STRATEGIES TO MITIGATE THE PANDEMIC ON CAMPUS - FALL 2022
Throughout the year, we will adapt our protocol to better reflect the current epidemiological situation. The new guidance to schools lists these COVID-19 risk mitigation strategies in order of priority:
Staying Up-to-Date on Vaccinations (2 doses + boosters)
Optimizing Indoor Air Quality
Using Face Masks
Getting Tested for COVID-19
Maintaining Clean Hands
Managing Students Diagnosed with COVID-19
Managing Students Exposed to COVID-19
Managing COVID-19 Outbreaks
Health & Safety Measures
Below are the health and safety measures that are put in place when school resumes in the Fall 2022:
Vaccines & Boosters
We recommend getting COVID vaccines and boosters, which remains the best way to protect yourself, your family and your community, as well as testing when either symptomatic, exposed to someone who is COVID positive, or after traveling.
The COVID vaccine is available to anyone 6 months of age and older. The COVID vaccine is safe, effective, 100% free and the best way you can protect yourself, your child, and our community. You can also visit MYTURN.GOV to find a walk-in clinic or make an appointment for vaccines or testing.
Cleaning, Disinfection & Ventilation
For ventilation, the school has made great efforts to provide our community with proper ventilation and sanitization in the classrooms:
All Preschool and Lower School classrooms have HVAC systems with MERV13 filters and all occupied classrooms are equipped with additional portable smoke air purifiers.
The whole lower school and the preschool is also equipped with a new UVC sanitizer system in the existing HVAC systems, these systems purify 99.9% of airborne virus/bacteria particles in the air to all of our classrooms, common areas, and offices.
For the middle school (where radiant heat is used), portable air purifiers with a UVC sanitizer system have been installed which will be running in all student-occupied classrooms.
Open Window Policy: indoor classrooms will open windows and doors, weather permitting, and ensure that it does not pose a safety and health risk to children (particularly in case of poor air quality).
Custodial staff will conduct regular cleanings of restrooms (approximately every four hours).
Students are taught to wash their hands frequently with soap and water, or use hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available. Students using soap and water should follow CDC guidance on proper hand-washing techniques, including washing their hands for at least 20 seconds with soap, rubbing thoroughly after application, and using paper towels to dry hands thoroughly.
Hand sanitizer is provided in all classrooms. Students using hand sanitizer should rub it into their hands until it is completely dry.
Students will also be reminded not to touch their faces, and to use a tissue to wipe their nose and to cough and sneeze inside the tissue. The School encourages parents to also remind students to follow these practices.
Personal Protective Equipment
All faculty and staff received training on health and safety measures prior to coming back to school.
It is strongly recommended that all faculty and staff wear masks when indoors. N95 masks are available upon request. While wearing a mask is optional, we take this opportunity to remind everyone that masks are strongly recommended.
It is strongly recommended that all Pre K-8 students wear a face covering while at school, except during designated meal times. Face covering must be N-95, KN95, surgical masks or made out of breathable cloth materials, cover a student’s entire nose and mouth area, and be secured to the student’s head with elastic ties or straps. While wearing a mask is optional, we take this opportunity to remind everyone that masks are strongly recommended.
Students are encouraged to bring their own face coverings from home, but the School will have face coverings or face shields available to students who fail to do so or whose face coverings become damaged while at school.
Quarantine & Isolation
Parents must keep their student at home if the student exhibits one or more symptoms associated with COVID-19, and notify the School of the reason for the student’s absence. A student who exhibits Covid-19 symptoms may stay at school but is required to wear a mask until the symptoms resolve.
Students who report symptoms associated with COVID-19 may return to School after they meet the requirements set forth in the following section of this plan.
We ask students and employees to self-test prior to returning on campus after a school break.
If they had close contact with someone who was ill with confirmed COVID-19, they can return to school wearing a mask until 10 days after the date of exposure or unmask if they test negative twice on day 5 and day 7.
If a member of their household is ill with confirmed or suspected COVID-19, a student may return to school, but must wear a mask until 10 days after the date of exposure or unmask if they test negative twice on day 5 and day 7.
Persons presenting with a fever of 100º F (37.8º C) or above will be excluded from the School facility/campus. The School may exclude any individual who presents symptoms associated with COVID-19. Students who appear to be ill, have a fever, or report symptoms associated with COVID-19 will be sent home as soon as practicable.
A student who tested positive can return to campus after day 5 IF the symptoms have resolved and they test negative, though they will need to continue wearing a mask through day 10. The student should continue quarantining until day 10 if they continue to test positive. After day 10, a student can come back on campus.
The School will maintain COVID-19 test results submitted pursuant to this Policy as students’ confidential medical records.
Additional measures may be implemented or allowed with the guidance of state and local authorities.
We will respect the right to privacy of all of our community members. All community members should commit to following the
governmental health guidelines in their day-to-day activities outside of the school.
The school distributes OTC tests provided through the CDPH to all students and employees that are expected to be on campus during school hours before the start of the school year and after each school break. All test results are required to be uploaded to the primary.health platform.
Ecole Bilingue de Berkeley does not exclude from participation in, deny the benefits of, or subject any individual to discrimination on the basis of race, color, and national origin. This policy applies to all programs, services, and facilities, including applications, admissions, and employment.