On July 17, 2020, Governor Gavin Newsom laid out his plan for schools
across California regarding the physical reopening of campuses as the 2020-2021 school year approaches.
The Governor’s plan centers on local data and existing metrics to determine whether students and staff will return to classrooms. Additionally, the California Department of Public Health’s updated guidance ties schools’ reopenings to overall disease conditions in their respective counties, as tracked by the State’s County Monitoring List
Counties are placed on the monitoring list when they meet certain thresholds indicating elevated disease conditions, and are removed from the list when disease conditions improve. Counties on the monitoring list are subject to state-ordered restrictions for various sectors. The ability of public and private schools to offer in-person instruction is now tied to these county-wide thresholds. This list includes Alameda County (and therefore, the city of Berkeley), which has experienced an increase in reported COVID-19 cases in recent weeks, indicating elevated disease transmission.
Until Alameda County is removed from the State Monitoring List for 14 consecutive days, all Alameda County schools, including EB, may only provide distance learning to their students in Elementary and Middle School. Under these guidelines, childcare programs are allowed to operate in Alameda County.
As a result, the EB preschool will be physically welcoming students in Toute Petite, Petite, and Moyenne Sections (our 2’s, 3’s, and 4’s programs) in August, in accordance with operational requirements that we have planned for our early childhood program in our Return to School Plan. We are looking into possible on-campus options for our Kindergarten students.
Among other measures, we have divided classes into bubbles which will have their own classrooms and assigned bathrooms, recesses and arrival times will be staggered, we will be sanitizing classrooms and any shared surfaces several times per day, removing soft toys that are difficult to clean, installing HEPA air filters and UV lights, and looking into tents for outdoor classrooms. We will continue to adapt our facilities, programs, and practices to follow constantly evolving state and local health guidelines, as well as best practices, to be able to reopen at the beginning of the school year to care for and educate our youngest children on campus. More information will be provided directly to preschool families shortly.