Berkley Schools Return to School Plan 2021

Berkley Schools COVID-19 School Plan

The Berkley School District's goal is to offer in-person instruction this entire school year, while protecting the health and safety of our students, school staff, and broader community from COVID-19. In order to do this safely, the District will follow the guidance and recommendations from public health experts.

On Monday, February 28, 2022, the Oakland County Health Division (OCHD) mask mandate will be lifted for all Oakland County schools. Starting on this day, Berkley School District will also lift its mask mandate, following the guidance of our local public health officials just as we have this entire pandemic.

Masks will continue to be welcome and supported in our schools. We will also continue to provide KN95, cloth and surgical masks to any staff or student who requests one. There are a few situations where masks will continue to be required:

  • All staff and students (ages 2 and up) at Berkley Building Blocks will continue to be required to wear a face mask until students ages 2 years and older are eligible to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19
  • Any student PreK-12 while riding a bus (daily transportation or athletics) will continue to be required to wear a mask according to a federal regulation. Masks must be worn over both the nose and mouth, following CDC guidelines.
  • As part of the quarantine guidelines, following "mask to stay" guidance from Michigan Department of Health and Human Services
  • If there is evidence of classroom or school spread, which will be determined and communicated by District administration

While masks will be recommended starting February 28, 2022, there are many safety protocols that will remain.

PDF DocumentYou can review our updated COVID-19 School Plan PDF to see all the details.

Missed Work Guidelines

MISSED SCHOOL WORK DUE TO ILLNESS

The District’s current practice of allowing students to make up any school work missed while sick will continue. Teachers will have access to post resources for students inside of Schoology.

MISSED SCHOOL WORK DUE TO QUARANTINE

The District understands there may be situations where students are exposed to COVID-19 and asked to quarantine. If students are required to quarantine, they will not have access to a streaming classroom or virtual program. Teachers will have access to post resources for students inside of Schoology.

Social-Emotional Wellness

Lessons on social-emotional wellness will continue at all TK-8 buildings during the 2021-22 school year using the Second Step curriculum. This curriculum teaches children how to manage their emotions and where to turn for support. Parents can view the Emotional Health & Wellness page on the District website for additional resources.

After listening to parent/guardian feedback, Berkley Schools will continue to offer virtual IEPs. If an in-person IEP is requested, that request will be honored.

Masks will be required for all in-person meetings.

  • For the 2021-22 school year, the Federal government has allowed all school meals to be free to all students, no matter their free/reduced meal status
  • Families who are eligible for free/reduced meals are encouraged to fill out a free/reduced meal form to received benefits like reduced athletic fees and to ensure the District to receives funding for critical staff members
  • Cafeteria and food service staff will wear protective equipment while preparing and serving meals  
  • Students will either eat in their classrooms or in the gym/cafeteria, depending on building space usage

Families will be asked to complete their health screening daily at home for all children who will return for in-person learning. Families have the option of using the Clear To Go app for daily health screenings.

Clear to Go Family Information

Parents and guardians can review this parent letter for both new and returning Clear to Go users.

COVID-19 Symptoms

People with COVID-19 have had a wide range of symptoms reported - ranging from mild symptoms to severe illness. Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus. View the CDC symptom list to check if your symptoms are on the current COVID-19 list. People with these symptoms, that are new and not related to a pre-existing condition, may have COVID-19. Students and staff who are diagnosed with COVID-19 must stay home and isolate per Oakland County Health Division guidelines.

Updated & Starting on February 28, 2022

As a District, we have adopted the following guidelines that will be followed for anyone identified as a close contact to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19. Students and staff should be monitoring for symptoms daily and stay home if new symptoms begin. Our goal is to limit the disruptions to our students' learning and we all need to do our part in keeping each other safe and healthy. As a reminder, being fully vaccinated means it is at least two weeks after your final vaccine dose.

These new guidelines assume that ALL parents (whether you are exposed to COVID-19 or not) are monitoring for symptoms daily and keeping their children at home if they show any symptoms.

Infographic & Timeline

PDF DocumentWe created a one-page infographic sheet to help understand our current guidelines. It is posted here for you to review. These guidelines will go into effect on Monday, February 28, 2022. 

Isolation Guidelines for People who Test Positive for COVID-19

  • All persons who test positive for COVID-19 may not attend school and should isolate at home through Day 5 from the onset of symptoms or from the test date if asymptomatic. Onset of symptoms or the day the person tests positive if asymptomatic is considered Day 0.
  • If symptoms are resolving or no symptoms are present, the positive person may return on Days 6-10 AND wear a mask through Day 10 if they are vaccinated.
    • Unvaccinated persons who are diagnosed with COVID-19 must choose from the following options:
      • Option 1: Test on Day 5 to return to school on Day 6 AND wear a mask through Day 10. If that test shows a positive COVID-19 result, this person must continue to isolate for 5 additional days.
      • Option 2: Isolate through Day 10
  • If a positive person has a fever they must stay home until fever free for 24 hours without the use of fever reducing medication. 

Fully Vaccinated Individuals - Close Contacts

All fully vaccinated persons exposed within 0-3 feet will not follow a mandatory quarantine.

Household Close Contact

Fully vaccinated (two weeks after completing the primary vaccine series) household close contacts without symptoms have the following options:

  • Option 1: Continue to attend school if they test daily on Days 1-6 AND Wear a mask for Days 1-10
  • Option 2: Quarantine at home through Day 5 and return to school on Day 6 AND wear a mask from Days 6-10
  • Option 3: Quarantine at home through Day 10

The last day of exposure is considered Day 0. It is recommended that if an individual in your household is COVID positive, you avoid close contact with that person if at all possible while they are in isolation.

Unvaccinated Individuals - Close Contacts

0-3 Feet Exposure: Quarantine & Mask Options

All persons exposed within 0-3 feet while unvaccinated will choose one of the following options:

  • Option 1: Continue to attend school and test daily on Days 1-6 AND wear a mask for Days 1-10
  • Option 2: Quarantine at home through Day 5, test on Day 5 or 6, and return on Day 6 AND wear a mask for Days 6-10
  • Option 3: Quarantine at home through Day 10

Berkley Building Blocks Guidance

0-2 Year Old Guidance

0-2 year old students at Berkley Building Blocks will continue to quarantine for 10 days if identified as a close contact and isolate for 10 days if they test positive for COVID-19. Students 0-2 years old are not required to wear masks at school and therefore will not follow the shortened guidelines.

3-5 Year Old Guidance

3-5 year old students will follow the guidelines for unvaccinated students.

School Notification

It is very important for all families to notify their school if their child was considered a close contact at an outside of school activity. The guidelines above also apply to exposure outside of the school buildings. If you believe your child was a close contact to someone who is COVID-19 positive, call your school office to determine next steps.

COVID-19 Testing for Close Contacts - Closed Starting April 8, 2022

The Berkley School District hosts its own testing clinic at Berkley High School's East Gym from 7:15-8 am, Monday - Friday. If you receive communication from our school nurses or principals that testing is an option for your child, or if your child is showing symptoms, you may take advantage of the District’s clinic. This clinic was closed April 8, 2022, due to low usage.

Notification of COVID-19 in Schools

All students and staff are required to share if they have tested positive for COVID-19, using a rapid or PCR test. Once the District is notified, it will send a report to the Oakland County Health Division (OCHD).

Families will be notified if their child is unvaccinated and identified as a close contact of any confirmed probable (rapid test result) or positive (PCR test result) cases in the classroom, maintaining confidentiality according to ADA and privacy laws. 

Elementary school families will receive a classroom letter if a child in their class has tested positive for COVID-19.

All COVID-19 school associated cases are reported on the District's Dashboard.

Important Definitions

The following definitions are important to remember to better understand our current guidelines:

  • Close Contact: Someone who has been exposed 0-3 feet for more than 15 minutes in a 24 hour period to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19.
  • Isolation: Someone who is COVID-19 positive and stays at home, away from others. Isolation is used to separate people who are infected with COVID-19 from those who are not infected.
  • Quarantine: Staying home because you were identified as a close contact.
  • The District will follow the MHSAA testing requirements for athletes
  • For parents/guardians who are concerned with any symptoms their child may be presenting, COVID-19 testing is readily available through the Oakland County Health Division testing sites. The closest OCHD testing site to Berkley Schools is the Southfield location. The State of Michigan also has a testing location finder on their website.

Rapid Testing Kits Available to Staff and Students

Starting on Monday, April 11, 2022, Berkley Schools will be sending free self-testing rapid kits home with staff or students who would like to test or are required to test daily to remain in school. Through our partnership with the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, free self-testing kits (iHealth Antigen Rapid Test) will be available in all schools and the Administrative Offices. As a reminder, if students or staff test positive, they are required to report the case to their school and our school nurses will continue to contact trace. If anyone tests positive using the rapid tests, they are also required to tell our school staff of a positive case. Families can always contact the school nurse at 248-837-8012 with questions.

COVID-19 Testing at Berkley Schools - Testing Clinic (Closed on Friday, April 8, 2022)

The Berkley School District hosts its own testing clinic at the Berkley High School East Gym (2325 Catalpa) from 7:15-8 am, Monday - Friday. If you receive communication from our school nurses or principals that testing is an option for your child, or if your child is experiencing symptoms, you may take advantage of the District’s clinic. This clinic will continue to run as long as testing supplies are available.

Oakland County Health Division is offering free vaccines to any persons aged 5 years and older. The health division is offering Save Your Spot Community Clinics with the ability to set an appointment online or simply walk-in to receive a vaccine. Many pharmacies and other health care providers also have shots available and are welcoming walk-in visits. Visit the Oakland County Vaccine website for details on the vaccine as well as locations to receive the shot.

 

  • Bathrooms will be spray disinfected at a minimum every four hours. Staff will note the time, date and initials on a cleaning chart that is kept daily.
  • All classrooms will continue to have disinfecting wipes, hand sanitizer, and latex-free gloves
  • All buildings will be cleaned and disinfected nightly
  • The District will ensure safe and correct use and storage of cleaning and disinfection products

 

As a result of the 2015 Bond, the Berkley School District replaced all Heating Ventilation Air Condition (HVAC) systems in all buildings. This modernization of the system included new Vertical Unit Ventilators (VUVs) that greatly improves air quality by circulating fresh air into the classrooms. The District's system exceeds the CDC recommendation for ventilation in schools, per the ASHRAE recommended hourly air exchanges for viruses. The recommendation is 6-12 for hospitals and Berkley Schools VUVs have 12 exchanges. This new system also filters the air, using MERV 13 filters (the highest our system can hold and highly recommended by the CDC). Filtered air systems remove particulates that can include viruses and bacteria. The VUVs condition the room at specific CO2 levels and humidity, which are two factors that can greatly reduce the spread of airborne viruses, by bringing in fresh outdoor air.

The District maintenance team checks our HVAC system daily to ensure all units are working properly. In addition, air filters are changed four times per year: the beginning of the school year and at the end of each marking period.

 

  • Visitors will be allowed in buildings for regular school business. Visitors will be required to wear masks while in our buildings during school hours.
  • All guests attending after-school events and activities are strongly encouraged to wear a mask
  • Volunteers will have to complete the volunteer application process and wear a mask while volunteering, unless in an outdoor setting. Volunteers may be required to be vaccinated depending on a program-based guideline.

Shared Time teachers will follow the safety protocols and procedures of the partner school at which they are assigned.

August 2021

The Berkley School District's goal is to offer in-person instruction this entire school year, while protecting the health and safety of our students, school staff, and broader community from COVID-19. In order to do this safely, the District will follow the guidance and recommendations from public health experts.

This plan was created with the guidance of the Oakland County Health Division, Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Using this guidance as a road map for the 2021-22 back to school planning, the District met with principals, union leaders, teachers and staff members to listen to top safety concerns.

The biggest takeaways for families include the following safety protocols as well as quarantine guidance for students. When the local, state, and/or federal public health professionals change their guidance for schools, the District may change its protocols and requirements after reviewing the new recommendations

  • All staff and students PreK-12 (ages 2 and up), including Adult Transition students, will be required to wear a mask at all times, with the exception of eating and drinking

  • Students will not be required to wear a mask outdoors

  • Berkley Schools will continue to work with the Oakland County Health Division to perform contact tracin

Keeping our staff and students safe from COVID-19 continues to be a top priority of the District as well as a community effort. Protecting students and staff through community vaccination efforts, mask wearing and following public health guidelines will help prevent COVID-19 from spreading in our schools. We also ask our parents and guardians to continue to notify school personnel if their child has been exposed to or diagnosed with COVID-19.

District staff are ready for a year that feels much closer to normal than the last year and a half. Together we can make this happen. We thank you for your continued support and partnership. 

Please take time to review the document below outlining the safety protocols, in-person instruction details as well as health and notification guidelines before school begins.

PDF Document2021 Return to School Plan - August 5, 2021