Dear Berkeley Community,

I hope this message finds you all well. I am writing today with an update about Berkeley’s Covid-19 protocols, and how we will manage cases within our community going forward. 

It has always been Berkeley’s intention to offer in-person schooling to our community whenever possible. To that end, the school administration has been in consultation with the government for several weeks about our standing Covid plan and how we might update it to better serve our community. This morning, we were finally able to make changes to our plan, and these changes will allow us to reopen our elementary division this Thursday, January 20th. We would like to stress that these changes are all within current government guidelines, and we feel strongly that they will still allow us to provide a safe learning environment for our students.

The updated reopening plan 2021-22 can be found here. The changes made to our plan were designed to acknowledge that individual cases will happen at school, but avoid letting those cases develop into clusters. The goal, therefore, was to put in place clearer and stricter response protocols to individual cases in order to balance the decision to avoid division-wide closures. The main updates are outlined below:

  • Division-wide closures will no longer be put in place unless part of a larger shutdown ordered by the government.

  • Definitions of high- and low-risk contacts were updated for clarity, and some additions were made.

    • Due to proximity and exposure time, students sharing a school bus will automatically be considered high-risk

    • A new category - Medium Risk - was added to address family members of high-risk contacts

  • Testing requirements were updated to clarify that if an RT-PCR test is declined when requested by the school, a positive test result will be assumed and the school will respond according to positive test protocols.

  • Unvaccinated students who share a class with a Covid-positive student will be asked to complete a daily ATK test for two weeks to ensure there is no spread within the class.

Mr. Jake and Mr. JP will be sending out letters shortly with more detailed, division-specific information. And to be clear, we will continue to offer hybrid online learning to those families who request it until January 28th.

Thank you for your time, and we are so glad to be able to welcome our elementary students back to school.


Ash Peek

Head of School