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COVID-19 Updates

With the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) in-person instruction framework for school communities, EB opened its campus on August 30, 2021 for all students to return. Students with a valid doctor's note were permitted to continue instruction from home until December 2021. 

COVID Safety Plan - April 2022 Addendum

Starting Monday, April 4, we will be implementing the three-level protocols below: we will be entering the GREEN LEVEL. The metrics used to determine each level are:

  • Community level indicators of COVID-19 and their trajectory
  • COVID-19 vaccination rate in the EB community, among students, teachers, and staff 
  • Local COVID-19 outbreaks or transmission patterns
  • Availability and accessibility of resources, including masks and tests
  • Local guidance and recommendations for school settings

COVID SAFETY PLAN - MARCH 2022 ADDENDUM

We are excited to continue easing up our safety protocols as numbers improve and we seek to resume a normal school life.

  • Parents back on campus: Starting Monday, March 21, parents will be fully welcomed back onto campus, both outdoors and inside the buildings. When entering the building, all parents must wear a mask. Thank you for being mindful of our teachers’ time and schedules—we know it will be exciting to talk with them in person, however please remember that our teachers’ focus is on students and class time.

  • No temperature checks or VisitU: Starting Monday, March 21, we will discontinue gate temperature checks and will no longer require parents to complete the VisitU questionnaire.

  • No parent vaccination card check: EB will no longer require vaccination checks for outdoor events for parents.

  • Carpool drivers: Day field trips will soon be returning and parents may be asked to volunteer as a driver. All drivers must be vaccinated, wear a mask, and be fingerprinted (if you have been fingerprinted in the past, there is no need to do so again). Access relevant forms on the Parent Portal or contact Sara Nickles at snickles@eb.org with questions. Please note that students must be vaccinated (with vaccination card submitted to Sara) to participate in field trips of any kind, both day and overnight.

  • Optional indoor masks soon: While EB continues to follow CDPH’s strong recommendation to mask indoors at this time, we will be moving towards optional indoor masks soon, conceivably before Spring Break.
 
Important Reminders
  • Starting March 21, Preschoolers will use the creek gate on 9th Street for drop-off and pick-up. Parents will be allowed to accompany their children into class. The rear school entry on 10th Street will no longer be in use after this time.

  • Lower School students are welcomed outside on select mornings:
    • K students will be in the garden every day (Mon-Fri)
    • G1 students will be in the big yard every day (Mon-Fri)
    • G2/G3 students will be in the big yard Tues & Thurs
    • G4/G5 students will be in the big yard Mon & Wed

  • If your child is sick, please do not bring them to school—if they are showing any Covid-related symptoms, have your child tested and wait until symptoms are gone before bringing them back to class. If you know your child’s symptoms are related to allergies, please inform us.
Please remember to send the updated vaccination card to snickles@eb.org. If you are choosing not to vaccinate your child, please let us know.

COVID SAFETY PLAN - February 2022 Addendum

  • Outdoor masking update: We are planning to allow students to remove their masks when outdoors starting on Monday, March 7. This will give us time to prepare for the transition and allow for a buffer window after returning from break, when it is more likely for us to see positive cases.  
  • Slowing testing cadence: Beginning March 7, we anticipate changing our antigen testing at the Lower and Middle School to once a week. Preschool students will continue to test at home on Wednesdays and Sundays.

  • No testing over Winter Break: We will not require students to be tested over the upcoming February Winter Break. Our supply of home antigen tests has been impacted by the government distribution program. The home tests we have will be prioritized for preschool students as they are not yet vaccinated. Instead, we will test ALL K-G8 students on Monday morning, February 28 similarly to what we did for the return to school in January. Students will also be tested Thursday, March 3, that week. (Note: this is different from what we originally announced last week, 2/1/22).

Pilot Program with CDPH (Covid-19 Detection Dog on campus)

*As of February, 16, 2022*

We have been so happy to have Rizzo and Scarlett, from the CDPH dog detection program, visit EB and interact with our students. They will return on February 28, after the break. In order to participate, or interact with the dogs in any way (including meeting and petting the dogs), parents need to fill out the waiver located on the Parent Portal, under Files & Forms.


*As of January 31, 2022*

We are happy to be invited to be a part of the pre-pilot for the Early Alert Canines (EAC) Covid-19 Detection Dog program. This program will work in conjunction with our testing strategies and we are honored to lend our assistance in this part of the dogs’ training so that this program may benefit others. Please watch the presentation below for more information, and be sure to sign the waiver sent to you through the primary.health platform. Starting on February 7, 2022.


WATCH CDPH PRESENTATION

COVID SAFETY PLAN - REVISED ON JANUARY 2022

On-campus instruction has resumed on Monday, January 3, 2022. This last week has seen a dramatic increase in Covid cases, both locally and globally. The Covid Safety Team met to address this surge and to adapt our protocols to the current situation. Our goal continues to be to keep our students and community safe, while allowing for in-person instruction to continue.
 
All protocols have been designed with the goal to minimize interruption in teaching while protecting our students and staff, especially our unvaccinated students. Based on our knowledge, experience, and direction from public health authorities, we continue to  implement the following multi-layered prevention strategies:

  • Required masking indoors and outdoors
  • Physical distancing during lunches
  • Enhanced cleaning
  • Handwashing and sanitizing
  • Air ventilation
  • Isolation of symptomatic individuals
  • Routine testing
  • Daily health attestation via VisitU system
We expect all of our students and faculty to follow these protocols. We will be extremely vigilant about enforcement, including the possibility of sending students home, in order to ensure the health and safety of all.
 
In the context of this new surge, we anticipate needing to revisit some of the protocols that had recently changed (such as mixing grades for enrichment classes or recesses). 

Masking
Masks are among the most important measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and other communicable diseases. 

All students from PK to 8th grade, even fully vaccinated ones, will be required to wear a face mask covering their nose and mouth, while indoors and outdoors, except during meals and mask breaks. Students who are unable to wear masks due to medical or behavioral challenges will be exempt. 

We require that all students bring their own clean/washed masks to school each day, clearly labeled with their names. We ask that students also bring a backup mask in a sealed plastic bag should the first one become wet or soiled.

Face coverings must be made out of breathable cloth materials, consist of at least two layers, cover a student’s entire nose and mouth area, and be secured to the student’s head with elastic ties or straps. Masks should fit properly and we will enforce the correct usage of masks while at school.

Travel policy reminder
If you have traveled by air (whether international or domestic), our policy is that students need to quarantine for three days after travel and then have a PCR or lab-administered antigen test. Please send the results to snickles@eb.org. 
 
As a reminder, if a student is positive, they isolate for 10 days (we follow Berkeley Public Health policies, and they have not yet adopted the shorter isolation period defined by the CDC). Teachers will provide learning materials for your child, but might not be able to do live sessions. Please allow one business day for our teachers to prepare all the materials that your student will need in case of quarantine.

If someone is a close contact:
 
1. Fully vaccinated students and staff who are close contacts to a positive case are not required to quarantine if they are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 (at least 2 weeks following receipt of their second dose in a 2-dose series) and have had NO symptoms since the  exposure.
 
2. All unvaccinated close contacts must quarantine for 10 days.
Symptoms

The Omicron variant symptoms are very similar to cold symptoms and we need to be extremely cautious with students who demonstrate any symptoms at all.
 
We rely on you to keep our school safe by keeping your children home if they have Covid-19 symptoms. Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus. People with these symptoms may have COVID-19: congestion/runny nose, sore throat, headache, fever or chills, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle or body aches, nausea or vomiting, diarrhea, new loss of taste or smell.

Vaccinations
Approximately 59 percent of our children in the 5-11 age group have been vaccinated. We strongly encourage any unvaccinated students who are eligible to be vaccinated as soon as possible. Please send a copy of the vaccination card to snickles@eb.org so that we have an accurate count of vaccinated students. Unvaccinated students will need to follow a different quarantine protocol than vaccinated students (defined by the closed contact protocol above).

Aftercare update
At this time, we plan to continue offering aftercare with adjusted protocols.

For the Lower School (K-5), our aftercare students will be separated by grade level. Students will rotate between play areas on the yard and will be kept outdoors as much as possible. During inclement weather, students will be brought inside.

For the Preschool, when students are outside, they will be separated into two outdoor pods (Class B/D and Class A/C/E). When students need to be brought inside during inclement weather or after dark, they will be separated into three pods (Class A, Classes B/D, and Classes C/E) in order to ensure as little mixing as possible indoors.
Parents will still be allowed to come on campus to pick up students: masks must be worn at all times and we ask parents to spend no more than 10 minutes on campus. K-G5 parents may not enter the building and must remain outdoors.

All Are Welcome! (Anti-Discriminatory Policy)

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.