Berkeley, CA, February 16, 2021 – The Berkeley Unified School District (BUSD) and City of Berkeley are thrilled to announce an agreement to provide vaccinations to all BUSD educators, which will enable the city’s public school students to return to in-person learning on a timeline announced by the District earlier tonight.
Under the City’s plan, Berkeley teachers and classified staff serving preschool to second grade, and potentially up to sixth grade, will be able to sign up for vaccinations beginning the week of February 22nd, with vaccine administered later that week pending receipt of sufficient vaccine from the State. The rest of BUSD’s elementary school staff will be able to sign up for phased vaccinations beginning March 1. Finally, BUSD’s secondary school educators will be able to sign up for vaccines beginning Monday, March 8. BUSD employees will receive a dedicated link from the District to enable them to make appointments.
This vaccine schedule allows the District to establish the following timeline for students to return to campus in a hybrid mode:
Monday, March 29: Preschool, Transitional Kindergarten, and K-2
April 5-9: Spring Recess
Monday, April 12: Grades 3-5; Grades 6-8; U9 Program at Berkeley High; Berkeley Technology Academy/Berkeley Independent Study
Monday, April 19: Grades 10-12
If the vaccination schedule is delayed, this timeline will be pushed back. On the other hand, these dates for reopening will be moved up by one week if the City is able to provide all BUSD staff with the Pfizer vaccine, which requires a shorter interval between inoculations.
“Online learning has proven to be a major challenge for kids and parents alike,” said Mayor Jesse Arreguín. “We need to get Berkeley’s kids back into the classroom as quickly as possible, and this vaccination plan ensures that the safety of our educators will not be compromised in the process.”
“It has never been more true than during this pandemic that it takes a village to provide for our children,” said School Board President Ty Alper. “We are very grateful to our City partners for stepping up to secure vaccinations for our teachers and classified staff who have been anxiously awaiting their return to the classroom, where they can see and teach their students in person.”
District Superintendent Brent Stephens expressed his appreciation for the tireless efforts of both City and District staff to develop a plan that provided for efficient distribution of vaccines to BUSD educators.
“Our top priority is getting our students back into classrooms safely,” said Dr. Stephens. “With the City’s assistance, we can now provide a timeline for doing just that. Our students have been bearing the brunt of this pandemic, and we owe them every effort to get back to normal schooling as quickly as possible.”
# # #
Berkeley Unified School District: Trish McDermott, firstname.lastname@example.org, 510-631-1463
City of Berkeley: Stefan Elgstrand, Office of the Mayor, email@example.com, 510-502-7003