BERKELEY, Calif. (KRON) — Parents in Berkeley have a big choice to make — and quick.

The Berkeley Unified School District has the greenlight to teach elementary school students in-person, five days a week, as soon as the end of March.

Distance learning remains an option.

The superintendent said in a Monday letter that the deadline is coming soon to let the district know which learning model the parent or guardian wants for their child.

“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,” wrote Superintendent Brent Stephens.

While the school district does not have all the details finalized yet, here’s some information the school district provided:

  • Schedule: Students will attend five full days of school. In order to minimize contact between stable groups, there may be some variations in schedule by grade and site. This could mean staggered arrivals and dismissals at the start and end of the school day, and changes to when students transition from the classroom to activities including lunch and recess. 
  • Classrooms:  We are configuring classrooms for the maximum social distance possible. The default is 6 feet distance between students, and where that is not possible, we will provide at least 4 feet of distance between students, and 6 feet between student and teacher. 
  • Safety Measures: Face coverings, stable groups, hand washing, thorough cleaning, ventilation and air purification are all key elements of risk mitigation measures in place at every school.  
  • Screening and Testing:  Staff and students will provide daily health forms and stay home if ill. School staff are tested for COVID every two weeks, and a student testing plan is also in development with more details coming soon.  All staff have the opportunity to be vaccinated, and most have already received at least one dose or are scheduled to do so soon. 
  • Transportation and Afterschool: We will have somewhat limited availability for transportation and afterschool due to space constraints, but hope to provide options for families most in need.

More details will be released in the coming weeks, but the superintendent asks parents and guardians to fill out the Elementary School Enrollment Form by noon on Thursday, March 11.