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COVID-19 Health & Safety Protocols

2022-23 School Year

We recognize that new COVID-19 variants are continuously evolving, so we are mindful of the need to potentially adapt our protocols. New information from public health or information specific to children and schools inform our ongoing decisions. The latest WA DOH guidance for schools can be found here.

This page last updated October 24, 2022.


Bertschi Family Responsibilities

Bertschi families are expected to be aware of the latest public health guidance for schools as well as Bertschi's protocols, specifically:

  • Keep students home who have one or more COVID-19 symptoms (quarantine) and test them for COVID-19, and/or see a healthcare provider and follow the return to school guidance accordingly.
  • Report positive cases as soon as possible to [email protected], including over weekends and breaks, and follow the school’s policies for isolation and return. Refer to the policy below and the return to school guidance for additional information.
  • Follow all requests from the school including testing or masking when asked.
  • Refer to our health and safety protocols below as the primary source to answer frequently asked questions.

After reading the information below, links for who to contact with additional questions can be found at the bottom of this page.


Vaccination

Vaccination

All students, employees, and volunteers are required to be fully vaccinated (primary series) against COVID-19 or have a medical or religious exemption on file with the school. We also strongly encourage all to stay up to date on any boosters as recommended by public health or a healthcare provider. Email [email protected] to request an exemption.

Masking

Masking

Masks are optional indoors and outdoors unless otherwise directed by public health or in the event of an outbreak. The only exception is that masks will be required indoors while singing in music class.

In the event of a known exposure on or off campus, close contacts are strongly encouraged to mask indoors for ten days. The school retains discretion in requiring masking such as in response to a suspected outbreak.

We will continue to fully support the individual masking choices of each family and student, acknowledging that there are those who are immunocompromised or have other high risk factors that require additional protection while attending school.

Symptoms

Symptomatic Individuals

Students or staff who have one or more COVID-19 symptoms are required to stay home (quarantine) and should get tested and/or see a healthcare provider and follow the return to school guidance accordingly. If symptoms develop while at school, students or staff will be rapid tested and sent home.

Please note:

  • Siblings of sick students or other family members do not need to stay home unless they develop symptoms.
  • If a student has a documented medical condition that may occasionally present symptoms similar to COVID-19 (such as seasonal allergies), we can accept a letter from a healthcare provider to serve as an exemption from staying home in certain situations (email this to [email protected] and inform the teacher).
Positive test

Positive Cases

Please report positive cases as soon as possible to [email protected], including over weekends and breaks. The school is also required to report all positive cases to public health.

Individuals who test positive for COVID-19 are required to isolate at home. Individuals are eligible to return to school after 5 full days of isolation are complete and they are asymptomatic or symptoms are improved and they have had no fever for the past 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medication. A mask must be worn at all times if returning on days 6-10, except while eating lunch outdoors. Refer to the return to school guidance for additional information.

**PLEASE NOTE: Public health does not require a negative test to return to school after 5 days of isolation. However, if your student takes a rapid test and it is positive, the isolation period is automatically extended to 10 days. Please contact [email protected] if you have any questions.

  • Students and siblings of a confirmed COVID-19 positive household member do not need to stay home if they are asymptomatic, however we strongly recommend a mask while at school and home testing every 24-48 hours until five days after the last positive household member's isolation has ended.
Exposures

Exposures at School

Bertschi will notify families by classroom when there is a known exposure to COVID-19 at school along with the recommended guidance from public health to follow at home. If a family needs access to additional rapid tests for use at home, we can provide those. We strongly encourage masking indoors for ten days following exposure.

Testing

COVID-19 Testing

Bertschi will periodically ask families to participate in screening testing including administering tests at home before the first day of school and before returning from school breaks.

Rapid testing is available in the main office for individuals who become symptomatic while on campus or if families need access to additional tests for use at home.

Order free at-home tests here (WA State residents) and here (federal program via USPS).

Hand hygiene

Hand Hygiene

Frequent hand washing and sanitizing will be part of the school day. Learning spaces feature the following:

  • Touchless sink faucets
  • Touchless toilet flushers
  • Hand sanitizer dispensers
Snack lunch

Snack and Lunch

Students in all grades will eat snack and community lunch in classrooms. We encourage students masking at school to tip their masks when taking sips of water or bites of food during their brief snack period.

If a family requests an exception for lunch, a communal outdoor location will be arranged. Email assistant head of school, Jennie Bloch Garcia, and your teacher if you would like your student to eat lunch outdoors.

Extended day

Extended Day & Clubs

Extended day programming welcomes students across grade levels to play, learn, and relax together in a variety of indoor and outdoor spaces.

Ventilation

Ventilation

The ventilation in all learning spaces has been optimized using the following measures:

  • Three or more HEPA ionizer air purifiers in each classroom depending on square footage
  • Classroom window fans with reversible air flow

Bertschi School was recently evaluated by the Seattle & King County Public Health program called COVID-19 Recovery Ventilation & Indoor Air Quality. Our school met or exceeded all recommendations and was commended for the measures in place.

Cleaning

Cleaning & Disinfecting

Classrooms, bathrooms, and all common areas throughout campus are cleaned regularly by the facilities and custodial staff according to the latest public health guidance.

Travel

Travel Policy

If your student is unvaccinated, please contact [email protected] before planning any travel through a travel hub to ensure alignment with the latest protocols. Following school breaks, students may be asked to test upon return.

Distance learning

Distance Learning Support

Bertschi does not offer a distance learning program for students in quarantine or isolation. Teachers will continue to provide or suggest school work that can be done at home, as possible, as they would any other student home with an illness.


School Contacts

Please note: Emails about symptoms, absences, or other less urgent inquiries will be returned as soon as possible during the main office hours of 7:30 AM to 4:00 PM Monday through Friday. An administrator will also check this email twice over the weekend for urgent messages such as positive case reports that require an alert to potential close contacts.

Email [email protected] if:

  • Your student tests positive for COVID-19 at any time
  • You need access to a rapid test to administer at home
  • You need support following the return to school guidance for your symptomatic student
  • You need to submit a note from a healthcare provider about a medical condition
  • You have any other COVID-related questions (these will be forwarded to leadership as needed)

Email your teacher if:

  • Your student will be absent for any reason

Email [email protected] if:

  • You need a medical or religious vaccination exemption
  • You want to update your student’s vaccination information (such as the addition of booster dose)