Health and Safety

Berkeley Rose Waldorf School (BRWS) has an intentional approach in how we welcome all families, faculty, and staff back to the 2020-21 school year during the COVID-19 pandemic. We are keeping our educational mission at the forefront as we consider the emotional and physical safety of our local and larger communities.

Our school leadership has familiarized themselves with the current health order and guidelines from both the City of Berkeley and the California Department of Health in order to move forward in the reopening of our school. 

Current guidelines allow children to participate in two stable cohorts at a time. To participate in the BRWS program it is critical that all families commit to this guideline until the health orders change. 

COVID Symptom - Parent Handout

Reopening Plan:

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Cleaning, Disinfection and Ventilation

  • We have contracted with Wessne’s Janitorial Services for thorough cleanings twice weekly.
  • Administrative staff are disinfecting high-touch surfaces twice daily.
  • Teachers or students are wiping down desks and chairs daily.
  • Teachers are eliminating (or strictly limiting) use of shared items in classrooms, focusing instead on making sure all students have their own materials that they do not share.
  • When air quality is AQI 100 or better, we are opening windows in all classrooms for air ventilation.
  • When air quality is poor or it is very cold, we are closing windows but running high-quality air filters with HEPA components in classrooms and offices.
  • Building ventilation will be running continuously when air quality is good.
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Stable Cohorts

  • All of our students are organized into stable class-based cohorts of between 7 and 14 students. Current average cohort size is 9.5 students. Cohorts will expand slowly as students return to school or new students join as admitted. Any increase in cohort size will be gradual and dependent on classroom size to accommodate physical distancing. 
  • All cohorts stay together continuously and do not mix with other cohorts. This includes no interaction of cohorts in common spaces such as exit, entry, hallway, bathrooms, or outdoor spaces.
  • Recess times are staggered to prevent cohorts from mixing. See schedule below.
  • All cohorts are limited to 1-2 teachers. Some specialists provide limited instruction or supervision, generally outdoors, maintaining physical distance and wearing face coverings.
  • 6th, 7th and 8th grades will continue to meet under the cohort guidance, mostly off-campus, with occasional rotations on campus after 1pm, when most other classes have been dismissed, or on Fridays when other classes are not on campus.
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Physical Distance

  • Desks for grades cohorts are spread out to allow for physical distancing between children, and in most cases this means six feet between desks. 
  • During Games Class and other non-desk educational activities, children are spread out six feet from each other.
  • Teachers maintain physical distancing whenever possible.
  • Specialists and non-lead supervisors maintain physical distance with grades children at all times.
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Entrance, Egress and Movement within the School

  • On campus, designated entrances and exits are assigned to each cohort. 
  • Cohorts have designated indoor/outdoor times such that they are not crossing in hallways or otherwise sharing space.
  • Arrival and dismissal times are staggered. 
  • Parents/guardians remain off campus and maintain physical distance for drop off and pick up. Refer to the map below for door and time assignments.
  • Recess times are staggered to prevent cohorts from mixing. See schedule below.
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Face Coverings and Other Essential Protective Gear

  • All staff are required to wear face coverings, except when eating or drinking.
  • All children are required to wear face coverings, except when eating or drinking or physically distanced outside (Early Childhood programs excluded).
  • Teachers and administrators reinforce face covering use throughout the day.
  • Gloves will be worn as needed by staff when handling food or medical situations.
  • The School has appropriate personal protective equipment available on hand to supply to staff and students when needed.
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Health Screenings for Students and Staff

  • Symptom checks are required for all staff and students every morning.
  • Parents and staff currently report symptom check results to the school daily via ParentSquare.
  • Any staff member or child with symptoms on the list must stay home.
  • Any student or staff member who develops symptoms during the day is sent home. Students are physically separated from classmates in a special area of the office to await pick-up or in a designated room if pick-up cannot happen immediately.
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Healthy Hygiene Practices

  • Frequent hand washing is required, and thorough instructions are given by teachers.
  • Extra hand washing stations are available in many areas (see “S” for sink on the map below).
  • Hand sanitizer dispensers are available throughout the school.
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Identification and Tracing of Contacts

  • BRWS has designated two staff members as the COVID Liaisons who support contact tracing, including creating and submitting lists of exposed students and staff to the local health department and notification of exposed persons. These staff members are Jessica Prentice and Anaolga Macnaughton.
  • BRWS has designated one person for the local health department to contact about COVID-19. This person is Jessica Prentice, School Director.
  • Refer to the Guidelines and Actions for COVID-19 Exposure chart below for specific actions that BRWS will take when there is (1) a symptomatic individual, (2) a confirmed case, or (3) an exposure.
zoom training

Staff Training and Family Education

  • BRWS offers ongoing staff training and family education via zoom in the form of Town Halls.
  • Teachers are offering parent education via class emails and meetings via zoom, and the School Director often joins to answer questions as the COVID Liaison.
  • A specific reminder was sent to all BRWS parents regarding cohort group guidelines, opening plans, policies regarding actions that will be taken should an individual be symptomatic, have or be exposed to COVID-19, and all other information found in this plan.
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Testing of Staff

  • BRWS offers monthly testing for COVID-19 hosted by Arch Staffing and Consulting utilizing PMH Laboratories for results analysis. We hosted testing on August 25 and September 29, 2020. Our next testing date is October 29, 2020.
  • All staff are required to participate and all community members are strongly encouraged to participate.
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Triggers for Switching to Distance Learning

  • We will report all positive cases to the  Berkeley Department of Public Health and move cohorts to distance learning as needed to quarantine them.
  • If advised by the Public Health Department to close the campus, we will switch any and all cohorts to distance learning. We will then thoroughly disinfect the campus. Students will be allowed to return to campus when the City of Berkeley Public Health Department determines it is safe to do so.
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Communication Plans

  • We will use ParentSquare in addition to emails to communicate schoolwide information as well as information specific to cohorts.
  • The BRWS community will follow the Guidelines and Actions for COVID-19 Exposure for communicating any cohort quarantine needs.
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Outdoor Learning Support Pods

  • Remote learning support pods occur outdoors with physical distancing, PPE per local orders, tenting for shade, and other adaptations as needed or permitted by weather and air quality
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School Calendar

  • The school calendar remains the same.
  • Yearly festivals, camps and fairs may or may not take place depending on the situation
  • Determining whether they will take place will be assessed closer to the dates and announced accordingly
Nursery children attend in person cohort class

Guidelines and Actions for COVID-19 Exposure

Alameda County Public Health Department Protocols for the Onset of Symptoms, Close Contact with an Individual Testing Positive for COVID-19 in a School

All scenarios apply to students and school staff

 

Scenario Action Communication
HAS SYMPTOMS
1 A student or staff member either exhibits COVID-19 symptoms, answers yes to a health screening question or has a temp of 100 or above.

● Send student or staff member home. 

● Isolate student or staff member in a separate room or designated area, away from other students and staff, pending pick up at the facility. 

● Advise student or staff member to contact their healthcare provider and consider COVID-19 testing. 

● Ask student or staff member to share the test results with the School Director as soon as possible: 

● If positive: follow Actions in Scenario 3 

● If negative: follow Actions in Scenario 4 

● Advise symptomatic staff or parent of symptomatic student to follow isolation instructions unless COVID-19 is ruled out by a health care provider. 

Refer symptomatic individuals to find community testing resources here

Cohort/School remains OPEN 

 

Communication: No action needed

CLOSE CONTACT TESTS POSITIVE
2 A household member or someone in close contact with a student or staff member tests positive for COVID-19.

● Send student or staff member home. 

● Advise student or staff member to follow quarantine instructions for a minimum of 14 days. 

● Advise student or staff member to contact their healthcare provider and consider COVID-19 testing. 

● Ask staff or parent of student to follow quarantine instructions 

Refer individuals to find community testing resources here

Cohort/School remains OPEN 

 

Communication: No action needed

TESTS POSITIVE
3 A student or staff member tests positive for COVID-19.

● Contact Alameda County Public Health Department:

safelearning@acgov.org or 510-268-2101 

● Advise cohort members and/or close contacts of the COVID-19 positive student or staff member to follow quarantine instructions, contact their healthcare provider and consider testing. 

● Advise household contacts of COVID-19 positive student or staff member to follow quarantine instructions, contact their healthcare provider and consider testing. 

Find community testing resources here 

Clean and disinfect classroom and primary spaces where the COVID-19 positive student or staff member spent significant time ≥15 minutes.

  • Recommend all members of cohort and their families do COVID-19 testing 2-3 days before cohort resumes in-person instruction.

Cohort QUARANTINED for 14 days from last exposure. 

 

Close contacts quarantine for 14 days from last exposure. 

 

School remains open 

 

Communication: 

● Complete and send exposure letter to cohort

● Consider school wide notification of a known case

CURRENTLY ISOLATED & TESTS NEGATIVE BEFORE 10 DAYS
4 While a student or staff member has been isolated because of symptoms, they receive a negative test result for COVID-19 and want to return to school before 10 days have passed.

Follow isolation instructions 

● COVID-19 test is negative, the staff member or student can return after: 

● They are feeling better. (The symptoms do not have to be completely resolved.) 

● There have been at least 24 hours with no fever, without taking medicines to lower a fever, like acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Advil or Motrin). 

● Must show a medical evaluator note to verify that the symptoms are not due to COVID-19 and the test for COVID-19 is negative. ***

Cohort/School Remains Open 

 

Communication: No action needed 

CURRENTLY ISOLATED & WANTS TO RETURN BEFORE 10 DAYS
5 Student or staff member has been isolated because of symptoms and wants to return to school before 10 days have passed without a COVID-19 test.

● No COVID-19 test, the staff member or student can return after: 

● They are feeling better. (The symptoms do not have to be completely resolved.) 

● There have been at least 24 hours with no fever, without taking medicines to lower a fever, like acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Advil or Motrin). 

● Must show a medical evaluator note to verify that an alternative diagnosis has been made and the symptoms are not due to COVID-19.

Cohort/School Remains Open 

 

Communication: No action needed

CURRENTLY QUARANTINED & TESTS NEGATIVE
6 While a student or staff member is placed in quarantine following exposure to a case, they receive a negative test result for COVID-19.

Follow quarantine instructions If the staff member or student has never had symptoms, gets tested, and the COVID-19 test is negative: 

● They must still remain in quarantine for 14 days, because they may develop symptoms and/or become infectious to others at any time during the 14 days. Quarantine Infographic Note: For those who do not develop symptoms: 

For students: 

● Testing is advisable but not required. Parents should discuss the pros and cons of testing with the child’s healthcare provider. 

For teachers and staff: 

● ACPHD recommends testing 4-10 days after the last exposure to the COVID-19 case.

Cohort/School Remains Open 

 

Communication: No action needed

*** The requirement for the medical evaluators note is included in order to verify the reliability of the COVID -19 test because of the variable sensitivities of the currently available tests, and to ensure that the symptoms have an explanation other than COVID-19.

BRWS map

Recess Schedule

BRWS Reopening Schedule

Berkeley Rose seeks a diverse community, welcoming students of any race, religion, ethnic, and financial background. It does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national, or ethnic origin in the administration of its educational or admissions programs and policies. The school is a nonprofit 501(c)(3).

Association of Waldorf Schools of North America Waldorf Early Childhood Association of North America EBISA logo

BRWS is a proud member of these associations