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 March 30, 2022.



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Vaccination

All Bertschi’s employees are fully-vaccinated against COVID-19, and 98% have received a booster.

All eligible current Bertschi School students are required to receive both doses of the COVID-19 vaccine when eligible unless they have a documented medical or religious exemption. Philosophical exemptions are allowed until the Pfizer vaccine is fully-authorized by the FDA, or until the start of the 2022-23 school year, whichever occurs first. Check the COVID-19 dashboard for the latest vaccination rates.

All other adults visiting campus must show proof of vaccination if they plan to be indoors at any time. 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.

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Masking

Beginning Monday, March 7, 2022 masks are optional outdoors.

Beginning Monday, March 21, 2022 masks are optional indoors.

We recognize that there are members of our community who remain at risk, who live with at-risk individuals, or who have reasons to need to protect themselves particularly by masking. We encourage all families to make the right decision for themselves and will continue to respectfully support the decisions made.

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COVID-19 Testing

We currently do weekly onsite pooled COVID-19 testing of students, and rapid testing of symptomatic individuals. Families may opt in or out of pool testing. We also often do extra testing after school breaks.

If an individual has a confirmed close contact exposure to COVID-19, we use the Test to Stay protocol.

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Distancing

Distancing is promoted to the extent possible in indoor and outdoor spaces. Students eat snack and lunch in outdoor spaces at six feet distancing whenever possible.

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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
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Ventilation & Outdoors

Students eat snack and lunch in outdoor spaces at six feet distancing whenever possible.

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
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COVID-19 Symptoms & Other Illnesses

Students with one or more COVID-19 symptoms should stay home. Notify [email protected] for next steps. We follow the WA DOH guidance for symptomatic individuals when it comes to COVID-19 symptoms, in addition to other school policies around testing. 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-19 positive family member do not need to stay home if they are fully-vaccinated and asymptomatic, however we will require additional daily testing.
  • 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.
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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
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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.

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Extended Day

Beginning Monday, March 7, students participating in extended day and clubs will mix grade levels and use both indoor and outdoor spaces.

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Travel Policy

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

If your student travels through a travel hub (such as an airport or train station) and is not fully-vaccinated:

  • They should get tested with a viral test 3-5 days after returning from travel
  • They need to stay home and self-quarantine for a full 5 days after travel (day 0 is the day they return from travel)

Students who travel out of state by car or other form of private/personal transportation will 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.

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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.


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 Lamont | Parent; ARNP, UW Medicine
  • Hilary Myerberg | Parent; LISCW
  • 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