When Berkeley kids can go back to school

Bay Area

BERKELEY, Calif. (KRON) — The city of Berkeley and the Berkeley Unified School District teamed up to provide vaccinations for all teachers, which will allow public school students to return to in-person classes.

Some will open as soon as March 29.

Berkeley teachers and staff serving preschool to second grade, and potentially up to sixth grade, can sign up for vaccinations starting Monday.

Shots will be administered later that week — as long as the state gives them the necessary amount.

The rest of the elementary school staff will be able to sign up for the vaccine in the next phase starting March 1. Secondary school staff will get slots a week later, by March 8.

“Our top priority is getting our students back into classrooms safely,” said the district superintendent, Dr. Brent Stephens. “With the City’s assistance, we can now provide a timeline for doing just that.  Our students have been bearing the brunt of this pandemic, and we owe them every effort to get back to normal schooling as quickly as possible.”

There will be a specific link that district employees will be able to use to make appointments online.

Eventually, preschool through high school will be back in school with a hybrid model, the timing depends on the vaccine completion.

The school district says they understand the hybrid model is hard on parents, and there is no substitute for full time, in-person classes, but emphasize they are following the guidance of local and state health officials.

Here’s a tentative schedule of the students’ return to school:

  • Preschool, Transitional Kindergarten and K-2 – March 29
  • 3rd-9th grades – April 12
  • 10th-12th grades – April 19

The school reminds that it could all be pushed back a week depending on the city’s vaccination schedule. But there’s also a chance the school district could be ahead of schedule by a week — if they receive the Pfizer vaccine, which the district says requires a shorter time period for full vaccination.

This agreement between the district and the city also allows schools to reopen with the hybrid model five days after the county enters the state’s Orange tier, even if vaccinations have not been completed.

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