March 11, 2022
Dear BUSD Families,
(Este mensaje estará disponible en español en el sitio web de BUSD el lunes.)
On Monday, March 14, BUSD will follow California Department of Public Health (CDPH) and City of Berkeley Public Health guidance and move from requiring indoor masking for all students and staff at all schools and district facilities to strongly recommending indoor and outdoor masking. This means that BUSD educators, students, school volunteers, and other school visitors may elect to mask or not to mask at their discretion.
Our expectation is that every student, staff member, and school volunteer, whether or not they are wearing a mask, feels welcome and supported at our schools and facilities on March 14 and every other day. We expect Monday to be like any other day at BUSD, except that a few more smiling faces may be visible in our classrooms, halls and on BUSD buses.
We have successfully navigated many changes during this pandemic by working together as a community while also respecting personal circumstances. Kindness, communication, courtesy, and ongoing respect for each other will be important as we get used to yet another change.
Please see below for some helpful information about how we are approaching this transition as a district and a school community.
Thank you for your thoughtfulness as we make these changes on Monday.
BUSD Masking Guidance for March 14
Masking Choices are Up to Families
- Your student can arrive at school masked or unmasked. Students are welcome to remove a mask or put on a mask at any point during the school day.
- Students are welcome to mask or unmask in school classrooms, cafeterias, libraries, halls, and other rooms; outside of all school campuses; on BUSD buses; while participating in any BUSD athletics, extracurricular activities, or any BUSD before-school or after-school program; at school dances and other school-site events; and while singing and playing wind instruments.
- There is no distinction in the state’s guidance about making masking choices between vaccinated and unvaccinated students and staff.
The CDPH has indicated that if masks are not worn (or bell covers are not used on instruments) when students are engaged in heavy exertion indoors, which can include athletics, singing, and playing wind instruments, then students are strongly recommended to test for COVID-19 at least once each week. Weekly testing is available on all of our BUSD campuses.
- Educators have been encouraged to facilitate conversations among students about respecting the choices of all individuals in our schools. Educators will encourage students to speak up if they are feeling singled out about their masking choice.
- Educators and administrators are not able to enforce with individual students the masking choice of each family. Educators will work to ensure all student choices are affirmed and viewed non-judgmentally. They can model this acceptance by not altering seating charts or group rosters, or singling out students in any way, based on masking status.
- Surgical masks are available to any student upon request at all BUSD schools.
Masks and COVID Protocols
- Whether masked or unmasked, BUSD’s protocols for students demonstrating COVID-19 symptoms in a school setting have not changed. Students with symptoms are isolated away from others and parents /guardians are asked to pick them up as soon as possible.
- Any student who meets the criteria to return to school on or after Day 6 after testing positive for COVID-19 is strongly recommended to mask at school during the remainder of the 10-day period.
- Any student who has been exposed to a COVID-19 case is strongly recommended to mask at school during the 10-day period after the exposure. Students who are on a home quarantine and meet the criteria to return to school on or after Day 6 are also strongly encouraged to mask at school.
- Schools are not tracking or reporting on mask use during the 10-day period after an exposure; and, because individual choices about mask wearing can vary from hour to hour, the district is not able report on mask use in general.
COVID-19 Vaccination Opportunities and Gift Card Incentive
In partnership with Carbon Health, the City of Berkeley is hosting three vaccine clinics in the upcoming weeks. First, Second, and Additional/Booster Pfizer doses will be available.
Vaccine Incentives: Anyone over the age of 5 can get their first or second dose of the Pfizer vaccine AND will receive a $25 Target gift card for receiving a first or second dose.
Tuesday, March 15, March 22, and March 29 from 11:30am-6:30pm at Tarea Hall Pittman South Branch Library
- 1901 Russell Street, Berkeley
- Make an appointment here.