Berkley Schools Return to School Plan 2021

Berkley Schools Return to School Plan 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 tracing

    • Per the guidance of public health officials, students and staff who are identified as close contacts who are fully vaccinated do not have to quarantine if they are not showing COVID-19 symptoms

    • Students and staff who are identified as close contacts (0-6 feet from a COVID-19 positive student for more than 15 minutes in a 24 hour period) do not have to quarantine if both individuals were engaged in consistent and correct use of well-fitting masks and if the close contact is not showing COVID-19 symptoms

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

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, regardless of vaccination status.

On August 24, 2021, Oakland County Health Division issued an emergency health order requiring masks in educational settings. Read the Emergency Health Order on the Oakland County Health Division's website.

  • Children will not be required to wear masks outside
  • Athletics will follow the guidance of MHSAA
  • Any student who rides a bus (daily transportation or athletics) is required to wear a mask according to a federal regulation
  • Masks can be homemade/cloth or disposable level-one (basic) surgical
  • Gaiter face coverings are not an acceptable form of a face covering to prevent the spread of germs
  • Masks must be worn over both the nose and mouth, following CDC guidelines
  • Any student or staff member with a documented medical condition, who is unable to medically tolerate a mask, may not wear one
  • Any student or staff who is incapacitated or unable to remove the mask without assistance, may not wear one. Exempt individuals will be recorded in a master database.
  • Students will also be allowed to drink from a bottle of water at their desk by pushing their mask up to drink and then immediately pushing the mask back down
  • Students who are capable of wearing a mask and refuse to do so will be issued a mask by a staff member and asked to put the mask on. Consequences for insubordination may be followed as stated in the Student Code of Conduct.
  • Face shields are not an acceptable form of a face covering. Anyone may wear them in addition to their masks, but it may not be used by anyone as a substitute for a face mask covering the nose and mouth
  • Athletes: All indoor activities including sports will require staff, students and visitors to wear a mask at all times (with the exception of swimmers when they are in the pool).
  • The Berkley School District's goal is to offer in-person learning for the entire school year. In order to do this safely, the District will follow guidelines provided by the local, state, and/or federal public health professionals for K-12 schools.
  • Mask wearing, over the nose and mouth, is the number one important safety factor in continuing the success of in-person learning opportunities
  • Universal indoor mask wearing is one of the key strategies to keeping our students in school. Students who are identified as close contacts (3-6 feet from a COVID-19 positive student for more than 15 minutes in a 24 hour period) do not have to quarantine if both students were engaged in consistent and correct use of well-fitting masks and if the close contact is not showing COVID-19 symptoms.
  • The mask requirement is also supported by the American Academy of Pediatrics recommendation for opening schools in Fall 2021
  • Based on the 2020-21 school year, it is clear that masks work to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in our schools

Classroom & Building Details

  • Students will be spaced apart as much as possible
  • Students will engage with regular hand washing or sanitizing
  • Drinking fountains will be open for bottle filling only
  • Music classes will resume, with students in choir wearing masks and students playing instruments using District-provided instrument PPE
  • Sharing of classroom manipulatives and supplies may resume
  • School events can resume, with a preference for events with food to remain outside. Masks are required for all persons attending an indoor event.
  • Field trips can resume with mask wearing both on the bus/car and at any indoor destination
  • Assemblies can resume, keeping students three feet apart from one another while wearing masks
  • In-person and virtual parent/teacher conferences will be available. Buildings will share details closer to conference dates.

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  
  • All students will wash hands before and after meals
  • Students will be spaced as far apart as possible, with plastic shields around each child for additional safety measures
  • Students will either eat in their classrooms or in the gym/cafeteria, depending on building space usage
  • Non-vaccinated staff should continue to use social distancing while eating lunch in designated staff areas
  • CDC guidance says students, teachers, and staff who are fully vaccinated do not need to distance while eating

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

Staff will be required to complete a health screening daily. Berkley Schools staff will use the Clear To Go app to complete daily 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.

Positive Cases - Vaccinated or Unvaccinated Students

Anyone who has tested positive for COVID-19 will need to isolate themselves at home for 10 days from when symptoms began. If the person has no symptoms, it’s a 10 day isolation from when they received a positive test. Students can return after 10 days if they have no symptoms and are fever free; or, are fever free for 24 hours without the use of fever reducing medications and improved symptoms.

Close Contact Definition

Close contacts are individuals who have been within 0-6 feet of a COVID-19 positive person for more than 15 minutes during a 24 hour period.

MDHHS Guidelines

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) updated their guidance for quarantine and isolation recently. This is the guidance Berkley Schools is following, which is outlined below.

Unvaccinated Student Quarantine Guidelines for Close Contacts

If both COVID-19+ and exposed students are masked and students are...

  • 0-3 feet apart: Parents will have three options to consider if their child falls into this category.

    • Quarantine for 10 days
    • Take a COVID-19 test on day 7 and return on day 8 if negative
    • Test daily for 7 days in a row at the Administrative Offices
  • 3-6 feet apart: Continue to attend school and monitor symptoms for 14 days

If one or both students are unmasked and students are…

  • 0-6 feet apart: Students must quarantine at home
    • After 7 days, students may return if they show a negative test on days 6 or 7
    • After 10 days, students may return if they are symptom free

Vaccinated Student Quarantine Guidelines for Close Contacts

If vaccinated students are exposed to a COVID-19+ person and are...

  • 0-3 feet apart, masked or unmasked: Continue to attend school and test once on days 3, 4 or 5, monitor symptoms for 14 days
  • 3-6 feet apart, unmasked: Continue to attend school and test once on days 3, 4 or 5, monitor symptoms for 14 days
  • 3-6 feet apart, masked: Monitor symptoms for 14 days

Siblings / Household Contacts

All household contacts are recommended to be excluded from work or school while test results are pending for a household member. If test results are positive or if the symptomatic person does not get tested, unvaccinated household contacts are recommended to quarantine for 10 days from last known exposure.

Notification of COVID-19 in Schools

All students and staff are required to share if they have received a positive test, either the rapid test or PCR (lab) test. Once the District is notified, it will send a report to the Oakland County Health Division (OCHD) and work with their contact tracing staff to begin notifying close contacts.

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

  • 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.

Oakland County Health Division is offering free vaccines to any persons aged 12 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.
  • Classroom teachers, custodial staff, paraeducators, lunch aides and/or students will wipe down student desks and tables at the end of every period at the secondary level with disinfectant wipes and after lunch at the elementary level
  • 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 the main offices or for regular school business. Visitors will be required to wear masks while in our buildings.
  • All visitors and guests at indoor after school or sporting events will be required to wear masks at all times.
  • Fully vaccinated adults will be eligible to volunteer in our buildings
  • Volunteers will have to complete the volunteer application process, provide proof of vaccination and wear a mask while in our buildings

 

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