Berkeley elementary schools prepare to reopen for in-person learning

Bay Area

BERKELEY, Calif. (KRON) – Officials with the Berkeley Unified School District announced that elementary school families will have the option to have their students return to campus for in-person learning this month.

“We’re happy to share that based on the continuing positive dialogue with our Berkeley Federation of Teachers and Berkeley Council of Classified Employees partners, and also thanks to the successful vaccination program offered to BUSD staff by the City of Berkeley, we expect to be able to offer elementary school families the option to return their students to a five-day schedule of on-campus learning.”

On Monday, Superintendent Brent Stephens sent out a letter to parents and caregivers saying that elementary school campuses are scheduled to reopen on March 29 for TK through 2nd grade and on April 12 for grades 3 through 5. 

The details for the five-day in-person learning model continue to be finalized.

Teacher assignments and students will be regrouped, so school officials ask parents to complete an enrollment form for each student. Parents will have to select on-campus or distance learning for the remainder of the year.

The enrollment forms are due by Thursday, March 11 at noon.

Classrooms will be set up for maximum social distancing, and face coverings and other safety measures will be in effect.

Daily health forms will be provided for students and staff. In addition, staff will be tested for COVID-19 every two weeks.

More details on the student testing plan will be released at a later time.

The statement released by the superintendent said, “This is a binding enrollment, which means it is your commitment to one of these two learning models for your child for the remainder of the school year.”

It goes on to read: “We recognize that you don’t have all the details of the program to consider, but we do need you to tell us whether your child would return to school in person or not so that we can plan.  We will work to share updates over the next few weeks, as we finalize details of the 5-day program and the distance learning staffing.”

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