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School Continuation Plans

2020-21 School Year

Bertschi School's goal is to preserve as much in person learning as possible within the constraints of our campus, staffing, and community health. We also want to stay true to our mission and honor the diversity of our families and students.

Bertschi's School Continuation Task Force (SCTF) is working collaboratively to develop several detailed plans for school continuation during the 2020-21 school year. Below is a summary of the work of the SCTF to date. Updates will be made in response to further guidance or recommendations from public health officials or the state of Washington.


Guiding Principles

In designing scenarios and schedules for school continuation, the SCTF took into account health guidelines for reopening schools, so that Bertschi can continue educating students through all potential phases of reopening as well as flexibly toggle between scenarios. SCTF also prioritized the developmental needs of students at each grade level, the needs of families with essential workers at home, and the integrity of the Bertschi School experience including academics, social emotional learning, and community building.

The following overarching principles were considered in the modeling and planning of all school scenarios:

  • Preserve our 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

School Scenarios Overview

As of July 21, 2020:

Bertschi School's School SCTF is working on detailed plans and schedules for school continuation.

As we track the public health data for King County, transmission rates and cases continue to rise. Given this data, we have decided the following:

  • We cannot commit to full time in-person learning for the start of school on September 2
  • It is very likely that we will need to begin school on September 2 in the full time distance learning scenario
  • We will also be ready at any point in the year, including on September 2, to engage in a hybrid scenario
  • Campus is allowed to open
  • We are likely in Phase 3-4
  • COVID-19 risks are low in our community
  • Facilities and staffing in place

Update (7/21/2020): As COVID-19 rates continue to rise in King County, we cannot commit to beginning the school year with the full time in-person learning scenario, either on our campus or through the use of leased satellite space. Our planning, research, and advice indicate that such a model carries an unacceptable level of health risk for our teachers, families, and students, and places undue stress on our facilities, staffing, and budget. For these reasons, the scenario is not in the best interest of our community health or the school’s long-term institutional health. While this news may be deeply disappointing to many–teachers, parents, and students–we are leaning hard into this challenge by focusing our efforts on creating strong hybrid and distance learning scenarios.

  • Campus is allowed to open
  • We are likely in Phase 3-4
  • COVID-19 risks are probably elevated in our community
  • Or facilities and staffing are limited

Update (7/21/2020): Notwithstanding the likelihood of a full time distance learning start to our school year, we continue to also plan for a hybrid scenario should the health data improve for King County. Accordingly, we have selected a week on/week distance scenario as our hybrid model to develop alongside full time distance learning. Within this hybrid scenario, we remain committed to serving those students for whom distance learning is the least accessible, namely our Pre-kindergarten and Kindergarten students, who would attend school on campus four days per week (Monday-Thursday), every week.

  • Campus is not allowed to open
  • Or COVID-19 risks are too high in our community

Update (7/21/2020): As we track the public health data for King County, transmission rates and cases continue to rise. At this point, rates are higher than when the Governor closed schools in March and continue to trend upward. Given this data, it is very likely that we will need to begin school on September 2 in the full time distance learning scenario. Extensive time and energy is being given to our full time distance learning model, as we know it to be a likely contingency at some point during the school year. That said, we will also be ready at any point in the year, including on September 2, to engage in a hybrid scenario.


Learn More & Apply for Fall 2020 Enrollment

To learn more about the details of our school scenarios, tech tools and platforms, comprehensive campus health and safety measures, and decision-making process, please contact admit@bertschi.org.

Our application for Fall 2020 is still open. Learn how to apply here.