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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 K-12 School Guidelines from the WA 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 November 4, 2021.


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Masking

All students and faculty/staff will be masked throughout the school day, indoors and outdoors. Please send your child to school with a well-fitted mask as well as several spare masks to facilitate changing during the day. Each classroom will also be equipped with additional child-sized masks.

The following masks are approved for use on campus by adults and students: cloth masks with ear loops or other head ties, with 2 or more layers of washable/breathable fabric, that completely cover the nose and mouth, that fit snugly against the side of the face with no gaps; surgical masks; KN95 masks; KF94 masks; and M95c 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).

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Distancing

Desks and indoor seating for students will be placed three feet apart whenever possible. Students will sit at individual desks in all classroom spaces (except pre-K). 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.

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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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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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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.

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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 will also receive a verbal symptoms check, mask check, and hand sanitizer when they enter campus.

The symptoms of COVID-19 in children can present like other common illnesses, including the common cold, strep throat, or allergies. The most frequent symptoms of COVID-19 in children are fever and cough, but children may experience any of these signs or symptoms: fever or chills, cough, nasal congestion or runny nose, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, diarrhea, nausea or vomiting, stomachache, tiredness, headache, muscle or body aches.

All teachers and administrators will be particularly vigilant for any signs of COVID-19 that students or other staff members may be experiencing. If your child begins exhibiting any of the above symptoms while at school, the main office will contact you for immediate pick up and next steps.

If your child is exhibiting any one or more COVID symptoms, or has a known or potential exposure, keep your child home and let the office know by emailing [email protected] (between 7:00AM - 4:00 PM) or if after hours to [email protected] and [email protected]. You will receive a message with follow up questions and next steps in alignment with WA State Department of Health's Symptom Screening Guidelines.

Please note:

  • Siblings of symptomatic students do not need to stay home if there are no known exposures or close contacts to COVID-19.
  • If you are directed to test, only PCR tests will be accepted at this time (not rapid or antigen tests).
  • If your child has a documented condition (such as seasonal allergies) that may occasionally present symptoms from the list above, we can accept a letter from a healthcare provider to serve as an exemption from staying home or testing.

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.

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COVID-19 Testing

We will do weekly onsite pooled COVID-19 testing of students until further notice. Families may opt in or out and weekly student testing is not mandatory; however, the more families who opt in the safer our community will be.

  • Bertschi's student opt in rate for pooled testing is currently 94%.
  • 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.

Click here to read testing FAQs.

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Class Quarantines

Should it become necessary, we are ready to pivot to distance learning if there is a positive case of COVID-19 in the classroom. Our plan for class quarantining is based on the WA State Department of Health guidelines for K-12 schools, and is outlined as follows:

  • If a student or teacher in a class tests positive for COVID-19, the entire class will quarantine at home for 7 days following the last close contact. We will also determine whether there are any other close contact exposures beyond the class, and direct them to quarantine.
  • During the first school day of quarantine, students will attend a morning meeting; families will pick up materials and any needed technology from the school and a full day of distance learning will start the following school day.
  • Quarantine can end after 7 full days if students have not developed symptoms and families can confirm a negative PCR COVID test result (antigen or rapid tests will be not be accepted at this time). The test should occur no sooner than 5 days after exposure.
  • To maintain an effective quarantine, we cannot offer a remote at school option for families of essential workers.
  • Families will be expected to quarantine at home and not mix with other students from their class.
  • Siblings of students in quarantine can remain at school unless their sibling tests positive.

Read the Quarantine FAQs here.

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Extended Day

During Extended Day, students will stay in outdoor spaces and maintain the same health and safety protocols present during the school day. Clubs will mix grades and will also be limited to outdoor spaces.

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

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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.

Click here to read further FAQs on travel.

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Distance Learning

Distance learning will be offered if a classroom cohort is required to quarantine due to an outbreak. The school will provide the technology needed to support distance learning and teachers will send home materials.

For students who need to stay home due to symptoms or travel quarantines, teachers will do their best to share work as they would during any school absence.

Click here to read further FAQs related to distance learning.

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Vaccination

Consistent with the State of Washington mandate, Bertschi School is requiring that all teacher and staff be vaccinated for COVID-19 barring a medical or religious exemption. Bertschi’s employee vaccination rate is currently 100%. Our Safe Schools Committee has also established a policy that no unvaccinated employee or other adult will work indoors with children.

Student vaccination is not be required for eligible students at this time. However, we will continue to carefully consider a potential vaccine requirement with allowed exemptions in collaboration with the healthcare professionals on our Safe Schools Committee. Key considerations will include the initial vaccination rate of our student community, ongoing guidance from the Washington Department of Health, and the general progression of the pandemic.

Bertschi will consider parent volunteers in classrooms on a case by case basis throughout the school year. Any parent volunteers or other campus visitors would need to show proof of vaccination to the school in order to interact with students indoors. The school will not maintain actual vaccination records for parent volunteers and other visitors. 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 opt to email it to [email protected].

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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.


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