School Continuation During the COVID-19 Pandemic
In planning for school continuation, Bertschi School formed a School Continuation Task Force (SCTF). SCTF took into account health guidelines for reopening schools so that Bertschi can continue educating students through the COVID-19 pandemic, and flexibly toggle between scenarios as needed.
The SCTF also prioritized the developmental needs of students at each grade level, the needs of families of essential workers, and the integrity of the Bertschi School experience including academics, social-emotional learning, and community building.
The following principles were considered in the modeling and planning of all school scenarios:
- Preserve Bertschi's core curricular program, mission, values, and teaching principles
- Prioritize the physical, emotional, and psychological health and safety of students, families, faculty, and staff members
- Build and sustain community connections by maintaining rituals and traditions that define Bertschi
- Recognize and support the diverse needs and unique demands placed on families during potential school closures due to a pandemic
- Meet the needs of diverse student learners through learning services support
- Ensure faculty and staff practices are sustainable and promote health and long-term retention
- Build in the flexibility to toggle efficiently between scenarios as needed
- Serve and support families of essential workers within our community
Current School Scenario
Currently, all students grades PK through 5th have the option to learn on campus four days per week (Monday-Thursday), or to remain in full-time distance learning at home. Both options are fully supported.
Students of essential workers and our faculty/staff are eligible to participate in our Remote at School program on campus on distance learning days (Fridays).
Health & Safety Protocols
Our faculty and staff continue to ensure we are following as closely as possible the recommended health and safety protocols for children and adults. In addition to regular meetings of our Safe Schools Committee, members of the Bertschi School leadership team attend a weekly pandemic briefing provided by Independent School Management that provides direct access to health experts from the CDC. At the top of the agenda each week is discussion around the latest data and understanding of virus variants circulating in our communities. The unanimous recommendation is for schools to maintain current health and safety protocols and to resist the urge to loosen them until more is known. On campus, we are doing the following in response to this advice:
- We are keeping close eye on the data regarding cases and variants within King County.
- All faculty and staff working on campus continue to take weekly PCR tests for COVID-19.
- We continue to focus on masking, distancing, hand hygiene, ventilation, and outdoor learning opportunities.
- Cohorts remain separate in every way possible, including at Bertschi-organized gatherings off campus.
- Our families traveling out of state are asked to quarantine and/or test as advised by Governor Jay Inslee.
We continue to use the King County Dashboard of Key Indicators of COVID-19 to help us track data trends that will inform our need to toggle from one school scenario to another. We also have a School Continuation Task Force and Safe Schools Committee that meets frequently to review the latest data and research, assess the school's planning and protocols, and to provide advise to school leadership. We also follow the guidance provided by the governor and other state and local agencies, and we track elementary school practices in our area, state, country, and abroad.
Learn More & Apply for Fall 2021 Enrollment
Our application for Fall 2021 is open. Learn how to apply here.