Health & Safety On Campus

2021-22 School Year

Members of the leadership team and the healthcare professionals on our Safe Schools Committee meet regularly to help make key decisions for our community. We also solicit input from peer schools and review the latest guidance for schools from King County, the WA State Department of Health and other regulators to assess our protocols.

>> Questions about health and safety? Please email [email protected] and a member of the leadership team will get back to you.

This page last updated January 19, 2022.



Screen Shot 2021 08 16 at 5 01 10 PM

Vaccination

All Bertschi’s employees are fully-vaccinated against COVID-19, and 95% have received a booster.

All eligible current Bertschi School students will be required to receive both doses of the COVID-19 vaccine by February 21, 2022 unless they have a documented medical or religious exemption. We will also temporarily allow philosophical exemptions until the Pfizer vaccine is fully-authorized by the FDA, or until the start of the 2022-23 school year, whichever occurs first.

Additionally, Bertschi Summer Exploration camps will require vaccination for all eligible children, and will only allow documented medical and religious exemptions.

All eligible students applying to Bertschi for fall 2022 must meet the vaccination requirement.

Parents are welcome on campus outdoors at all times, and indoors when permitted with proof of vaccination. We are committed to the privacy of your personal information; only the Head of School, Assistant Head of School, and Office Manager will view an individual parent’s vaccination status. We can accept the vaccination card or a picture of it in the Main Office, or you may email it to [email protected].

Screen Shot 2021 08 17 at 2 46 44 PM

Masking

All students and faculty/staff will be masked throughout the school day, indoors and outdoors.

Beginning Tuesday, January 18, students are required to wear one of the following masks while at school:

  • Surgical mask
  • Two-ply cloth mask with a surgical mask (underneath or over)
  • Child’s size KN95 mask
  • Child’s size KF94 mask

If you already have these masks at home or can access them, please send them with your child. We have a limited supply of student surgical masks for families who need them or in the case of replacements for wet or ill-fitting masks during the day. We are also looking into a source for child sized KN95 and KF94 masks.

The following masks are NOT approved for use on campus by adults and students: neck gaiters, bandannas, masks with ventilator valves, N95 masks (unless for use in the Isolation & Care Area of the school).

Effective January 12, all employees are strongly encouraged to wear a KF94 or KN95 mask, to mask using two surgical masks, or to combine a 2-ply cloth and surgical mask while on campus. These types of masks are more effective at preventing transmission of asymptomatic cases of COVID-19, and we have made them available to all employees.

Screen Shot 2021 08 17 at 2 46 49 PM

COVID-19 Testing

We currently do weekly onsite pooled COVID-19 testing of students. Families may opt in or out and weekly student testing is not mandatory. We also do extra testing after extended school breaks.

  • Bertschi's student opt in rate for pooled testing is currently 96%.
  • Classroom teachers and TAs exclusive to a single classroom are pool tested with the class; all other teachers, TAs, and staff are pool tested separately.

If there has been a positive case with an exposure, we will use a Test to Stay protocol. Read more at the FAQs below.

Screen Shot 2021 07 21 at 1 19 56 PM

Distancing

Desks and indoor seating for students will be placed three feet apart whenever possible. Distancing will be promoted to the extent possible in outdoor play spaces. Students will have snack and lunch in outdoor spaces at six feet distancing whenever possible.

Screen Shot 2021 07 21 at 1 05 43 PM

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
  • Separate student supplies by cohort/classroom for certain resource classes
Screen Shot 2021 07 21 at 1 24 06 PM

Ventilation & Outdoors

Students will have snack and lunch in outdoor spaces at six feet intervals whenever possible.

The school will continue to optimize ventilation in all learning spaces. Classrooms have been upgraded to optimize air ventilation as well as physical distancing between students and teachers. Safety upgrades include the following:

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

Each classroom space has a unique set of guidelines intended to maximize student and staff safety, including fan and window protocols, designated bathrooms, and other specifications.

Screen Shot 2021 08 17 at 12 23 24 PM

Symptom Tracking, Known & Potential Exposures

Every morning families must complete a student Daily Symptom Screening via PCR prior to arrival on campus. A text reminder will be sent at 7:00 AM if the survey is not yet completed.

Students with one or more COVID-19 symptoms, or unvaccinated students with a new exposure to COVID-19, should stay home and let the office know by emailing [email protected] (between 7:00AM - 4:00 PM) or if after hours to [email protected]. You will receive a follow up and guidance on next steps in alignment with the latest guidelines for schools.

If your child begins exhibiting any COVID-19 symptoms while at school, the main office will contact you for immediate pick up and next steps, including offering on site testing.

Please note:

  • Siblings of symptomatic students or other family members do not need to stay home.
  • Students and siblings of a confirmed COVID positive family member do not need to stay home if they are fully-vaccinated and asymptomatic. Unvaccinated or partially-vaccinated students should quarantine for at least five days or participate in the Test to Stay protocol offered by the school.
  • As of January 2022, both rapid and PCR test results acceptable to determine a student's eligibility to be at school on a given day.
  • If your child has a documented 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 quarantine or testing in certain situations.

Please note that public health guidelines do change. Our leadership and Safe Schools Committee will stay apprised of any changes and meet to discuss changes to policy on a regular basis.

Screen Shot 2021 08 17 at 12 23 20 PM

Cleaning & Disinfecting

Classrooms, bathrooms, and all common areas throughout campus are cleaned and disinfected thoroughly on a regular, and often daily, basis after school by the facilities and custodial staff. This includes disinfecting all classroom surfaces and bathrooms using electrostatic sprayers and vacuuming carpets. Teachers are also required to perform the following daily cleaning in all classroom spaces:

  • Disinfect desktops, countertops, classroom sinks, and any shared supplies between resource classes
  • Disinfect desktops, countertops, and classroom sinks after school
  • Disinfect laptops
  • Disinfect all other common surfaces
Screen Shot 2021 08 26 at 12 30 49 PM

Quarantine & Isolation Protocols

Our quarantine and isolation protocols align with the CDC's latest update and King County Department of Health, with a few additional requirements.

Quarantine for Close Contacts

If a student is unvaccinated or partially-vaccinated and they have come into close contact with someone with COVID-19, they can either quarantine for five days after their last close contact or participate in our test to stay program.

Students, faculty, and staff who come into close contact with someone with COVID-19 do not need to quarantine if they are in any one of the following groups:

  • Faculty and staff who are fully-vaccinated including a booster
  • Children ages 5-11 who are fully-vaccinated
  • Individuals who have had confirmed COVID-19 within the last 90 days

Isolation for Individuals with COVID-19

All individuals with COVID-19 need to isolate for at least five days, regardless of symptoms. For students, faculty, and staff who test positive for COVID-19 and never develop symptoms:

  • Isolate for at least five days. Day zero is the day of the positive COVID-19 test and day one is the first full day after the specimen was collected for the positive test.
  • If they continue to have no symptoms and show a negative rapid test result*, they can end isolation after at least five days. This applies regardless of vaccination status.
  • If they develop symptoms after testing positive, the five-day isolation period should start over. Day zero is the first day of symptoms.

For students, faculty, and staff who have COVID-19 and have or had symptoms:

  • They can end isolation after five days if they are fever-free for 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medication, other symptoms are resolved, and show a negative rapid test result*.
  • If the person meets these criteria, they can return to school after five days of isolation. This applies to anyone with COVID-19, regardless of their vaccination status.
  • If they continue to have a fever or other symptoms have not improved after five days of isolation, they should wait to end isolation until they are fever free for 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medication, other symptoms are resolved, and show a negative rapid test result*.
  • If symptoms persist longer than ten days, a note from a healthcare provider can clear them for return.

An administrator will provide specific guidance to each individual on isolation period, when to test, and to clear their return when all criteria have been met.

*Proof of negative result from a rapid test administered at home are acceptable, or on-campus testing can be provided by appointment.

Screen Shot 2021 08 16 at 4 58 30 PM

Extended Day

During Extended Day, students will stay in outdoor spaces and maintain the same health and safety protocols present during the school day until 5:00 PM. At that time, they will head indoors and stay in grade level cohorts.

After-school clubs will mix grades and will be limited to outdoor spaces.

All Extended Day and After-School Club staff members are fully-vaccinated.

Screen Shot 2021 07 21 at 1 25 36 PM

Travel Policy

In alignment with current state and CDC travel guidance, if your student is not fully-vaccinated and travels out of state, we require a 14-day quarantine; or a 7-day quarantine + negative COVID test (on day 5). However, the quarantine policy only applies if the unvaccinated student has traveled through a travel hub such as an airport or train station.

Students who travel out of state by car or other form of private/personal transportation will not need to quarantine or test.

If your student is fully-vaccinated, they also do not need to quarantine or test.

Please note that destination is also a factor in weighing the relative risks of travel. Travel to areas where vaccination rates are low and/or COVID-19 rates are high could place an unvaccinated individual at risk regardless of whether the travel involved a hub. We ask that families be vigilant regardless of where they travel in order to protect themselves and our community.

Screen Shot 2021 08 31 at 2 19 07 PM

Community Health and Safety Pledge

All Bertschi School families and faculty/staff are required to sign our Community Health & Safety Pledge and Acknowledgement of Risk form. To view the pledge, view the Parent Resources page on the website Parent Portal.

Click here to read FAQs about the Community Health & Safety Pledge.


Arrival and Dismissal

Times & Procedures

Arrival

8:15-8:30 AM at the pre-K gate.

Students must be signed in upon arrival with the full legal signature of a parent, guardian, or person authorized to pick up.

Late arrivals should ring the bell at the Main Office.

Dismissal

2:45-3:00 PM at the pre-K gate.

Students must be signed out upon pick up, with the full legal signature of a parent, guardian, or person authorized to pick up.

Pre-K students with older siblings on campus will be accompanied to their siblings' designated pick up spot/time unless otherwise requested.

Arrival

7:45-8:15 AM at the front of the school on 10th Ave E. Families may use the car lane to do curbside drop off or walk their children to the front gate.

Arrivals after 8:15 AM should ring the bell at the Main Office.

Class begins at 8:30 AM (students are supervised on the playground until then).

Dismissal

2:45-3:00 PM

Parents of students in Brenda's class should enter through the Annex Gate (10th Ave E) and pick up at the classroom door.

Parents of students in Linda's class should enter through the Main Gate and pick up from the Lower Woodchips.

K students with older siblings on campus will be accompanied to their siblings' designated pick up spot/time.

Arrival

7:45-8:15 AM at the front of the school on 10th Ave E. Families may use the car lane to do curbside drop off or walk their children to the front gate.

Arrivals after 8:15 AM should ring the bell at the Main Office.

Students are supervised on the playground until 8:05 AM, when they are called to their classroom. Class begins at 8:15 AM.

Dismissal

3:00-3:10 PM

Parents of students in Jill and Shannon's class should enter through the Main Gate and pick up their students on the Breezeway.

First grade students with older siblings on campus will be accompanied to their siblings' designated pick up spot/time.

Arrival

7:45-8:15 AM at the front of the school on 10th Ave E. Families may use the car lane to do curbside drop off or walk their children to the front gate.

Arrivals after 8:15 AM should ring the bell at the Main Office.

Students are supervised on the playground until 8:05 AM, when they are called to their classroom. Class begins at 8:15 AM.

Dismissal

3:00-3:10 PM

Parents of students in Beth and Sara's class should enter through the Annex Gate and pick up their students on the Upper Wood Chips.

Second grade students with older siblings on campus will be accompanied to their siblings' designated pick up spot/time.

Arrival

7:45-8:15 AM at the front of the school on 10th Ave E. Families may use the car lane to do curbside drop off or walk their children to the front gate.

Arrivals after 8:15 AM should ring the bell at the Main Office.

Students are supervised on the playground until 8:05 AM, when they are called to their classroom. Class begins at 8:15 AM.

Dismissal

3:00-3:10 PM

Parents of students in Niamh and Thomas' class should enter through the Pre-K Gate and pick up their students on the Bouncy Court.

Third grade students with older siblings on campus will be accompanied to their siblings' designated pick up spot/time.

Arrival

7:45-8:15 AM at the front of the school on 10th Ave E. Families may use the car lane to do curbside drop off or walk their children to the front gate.

Arrivals after 8:15 AM should ring the bell at the Main Office.

Students are supervised on the playground until 8:05 AM, when they are called to their classroom. Class begins at 8:15 AM.

Dismissal


3:00-3:10 PM

Parents of students in Katherine's class should enter through the Science Gate (10th Ave E and Lynn St) and pick up their students in the Science Garden.

Parents of students in Madeleine's class should enter through the Church Gate (10th Ave E) and pick up their students at the covered entrance to the Church Building.

Fourth grade students with older siblings on campus will be accompanied to their siblings' designated pick up spot/time.

Arrival

7:45-8:15 AM at the front of the school on 10th Ave E. Families may use the car lane to do curbside drop off or walk their children to the front gate.

Arrivals after 8:15 AM should ring the bell at the Main Office.Students are supervised on the playground until 8:05 AM, when they are called to their classroom.

Class begins at 8:15 AM.

Dismissal

3:00-3:10 PM

Parents of students in Raney and Will's class should enter through the Pre-K Gate and pick up their students on the Grassy Field.


Safe Schools Committee

Administrators

  • Teri Barnett | Head of School
  • Jennie Bloch Garcia | Assistant Head of School
  • Mike Gardner | CFO/COO
  • Rose Bellini | Director of Institutional Advancement
  • Jory Lum | Facilities Manager
  • Tito Ramsey | Director of Extended Day
  • Michelle Wotherspoon | Office Manager

Teachers

  • Will English | 5th Grade Teacher
  • Tina La Plant | Drama Specialist
  • Shannon Yergan | 1st Grade Teacher
  • Matthew Lang | 1st Grade TA & Movement Specialist

Healthcare Professionals

  • Lisa Chew | Parent; MD, MPH, Harborview, UW School of Medicine
  • Danna Lei | Parent; ARNP, UW Medicine
  • Bess Oleksiak | Director of Ambulatory Services, U-Village, Virginia Mason Medical Center
  • Andrew Trister | Parent; MD, PhD, Gates Foundation
  • Lara Wagner | Parent, Trustee; MD, MPH, Emergency Physician