Covid testing at schools?

We’re looking into sending our 3 year old to preschool, and are wondering about what Covid protocols look like around the east bay these days. Would any parents be willing to share what school you’re sending your child to, whether testing is happening for teachers, students, and/or families at your school and how often, and how you are being notified if there are positive results in the school community? Mainly interested in preschool but would also like to hear what elementary and beyond look like too. Thanks!

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RE: Covid testing at schools? ()

My daughter goes to a small home daycare (8 families which is 10 kids, plus 3 teachers). All families (including teachers) are asked to have the adults in the household tested every month. We've collectively written pretty strict COVID guidelines for when kids need to stay home from school (anyone in the family travels, anyone in the family has any potential COVID symptom, etc.). So far we have had 2 positive results (for asymptomatic adults) which resulted in school-wide closures and all families quarantining for 2 weeks. I've been really happy with the COVID safety measures in place at our school (everyone over 2 masks at all times, doors always open for ventilation, eating outside well spaced, etc.). Based on what I've seen at friends' kids' schools, I'd say we are on the strict/cautious side, but I'm grateful for that. 

RE: Covid testing at schools? ()

My son is 3.5 and goes to the East Bay German International School. Teachers get tested twice a week, free weekly (non invasive) student testing is available. Stable groups, teachers and kids were masks, and have regular hand washing practices. Temperature checks at check in. We are happy with the safety protocols and love the school in general. Preschool is bilingual, no prior German knowledge needed. 

RE: Covid testing at schools? ()

At our preschool (Colibri in Oakland) there is not regular testing but there are times when people must be tested. Let's see if I can get the current rules right as they've changed over time with me guidance from health and education officials. If someone (teacher, student, etc) is exposed to someone with Covid they must quarantine for two weeks and get tested twice- immediately and before they come back. If families travel, like over the holidays which was strongly discouraged, they also had to quarantine for two weeks and have a negative test. New families follow a similar prodical.

RE: Covid testing at schools? ()

Hi there, I can't speak to preschools since all four that my toddler has attended since COVID began last year have not done regular testing. What has changed has been more separation between pods of children, wearing masks more diligently, handwashing, and teachers are now starting to get vaccinated. We luckily haven't had any cases within any of the preschools, we ended up at different places more because of financial issues related to COVID that didn't allow the schools to remain open (private and home-based preschools). I currently work within a charter schooll in OUSD and we have pods of students back who are most vulnerable and at need, and based on the current cases within the school's zip code, we have asymptomatic testing every week (every other week once numbers go down) for students, teachers, and staff, and I myself am vaccinated because of my role as a mental healthcare provider. My partner because of his role as a scientist in healthcare, gets tested every two weeks, and that depends on the company as well, so I don't believe most parents of the children in our child's school get the same routine testing like our family does. I feel like this may vary between school districts and schools, as well as the jobs of caregivers too--we are currently in the enrollment process for our child for kinder in the fall in BUSD, and it sounds like if schools resume, the hope is to have the infrastructure to do regular asymptomatic testing, but we shall see!

RE: Covid testing at schools? ()

My 2 year old goes to Kidz Planet in Pleasant Hill. She loves it there and they take COVID very seriously. Anyone over 2 years old have to wear masks (that's a mandate from CoCo County). All the teachers get tested every 2 weeks. So far, this school has not had any positive cases while we have been there, not sure if they had any previously, but they are very good at communicating. My kiddos old daycare exposed children negligently twice by failing to act promptly when a positive case was reported among their teachers. I would ask schools what their COVID protocols are. If they don't have a policy to shut the whole place down after a positive test for the CDC recommended time frame I would run!

RE: Covid testing at schools? ()

Our son goes to Pride in Learning Montessori - Montclair campus - and they take temperatures for children at drop offs. They don’t allow parents into the school - and you have to wear a mask when picking up and dropping off. Also we have to fill out a weekly questionnaire every Sunday evening before returning for the next week about exposure and take our temperature. It seems like a lot but we haven’t had any covid scares or instances. The parents are all very cautious as most of us have very young children. 

RE: Covid testing at schools? ()

I have two children, one at Cornerstone Preschool in Berkeley and another at BUSD. BUSD is doing nothing and has not given any indication that children will be back on campus in the spring. My guess is that they will not resume in person learning until teachers are vaccinated. 

In my opinion Cornerstone has done a great job managing Covid protocols. They do not provide on-site testing but require families to quarantine and/or test any time any person in the household travels outside the county. All children two and older are required to wear masks and face shields. This sounds daunting but my two-year-old acclimated within the first day. It helps if a child lives in a family that masks regularly. Families are required to fill out daily health cards certifying that everyone in the household is free of symptoms and has not traveled. They also take temperatures at the door, though that feels less useful to me given how many kids are asymptomatic. Family members are not allowed inside the school and I believe they keep teachers and kids in pods to limit exposure. 

We have been onsite since June 1st. In that time there has been one positive case at the school and they opted to keep everyone home until they had been in contact with the Health Department. They have since received guidance around how to manage future positive cases, which would require exposed classes to quarantine rather than a full school closure. 

RE: Covid testing at schools? ()

Hi there. You can see the guidance for child care/preschool programs here: https://covid-19.acgov.org/covid19-assets/docs/childcare-schools-college...  There is more information, including FAQ for parents here: https://covid-19.acgov.org/schools (scroll down to child care or all the way to the bottom for FAQ about returning to school or child care.)

RE: Covid testing at schools? ()

We have a 4 year old in Preschool in Berkeley and he's in a small pod of kids that doesn't change (10 kids, 2 teachers) with dedicated space/time outside. They follow all the guidelines from the Dept of Public Health including sanitizing, open windows, no outside adults coming in, etc. We take his temp every morning, and attest to no symptoms in him or anyone else in the family, etc. upon check-in. We signed an agreement to notify the school of any symptoms, exposures, or positive tests, but there is no ongoing or mandatory testing. We were notified once that a child in a different classroom (no exposure or overlap to my son's class) either had a positive test or had a sibling with one- I forget - but they quarantined that classroom and not my son's. We've been very happy and feel really safe. 

RE: Covid testing at schools? ()

Our daughter goes to 1st grade at the EBGIS (East Bay German International School) in Emeryville which offers a preschool program as well. They've been open and on campus since August, have implemented full COVID protocols, the whole gamut from app-based kid check-in, to socially-distanced classroom layouts, to small stable cohorts, to (mandatory) twice weekly teacher testing, to (voluntary & free) weekly student testing. Our daughter has LOVED the experience and we're grateful she can go to school. Since you asked about student testing: This is new, they just started this in February in partnership with the California Department of Public Health. The test provider is Color and you get the result in 24-48 hours by text message. In terms of positive cases: There has only been one positive case of a staff member, a few months ago, who was infected elsewhere which was picked up in the routine testing they do. The staff member quarantined as per CDC and county protocols. The cohort was sent home until everyone got tested and was able to return to campus after receiving negative test results. The rest of the school community was informed without revealing the identity of the individual. Importantly: The infection _did not_ spread at the school, which was an encouraging affirmation that the protocols they have in place are effective. We can't recommend this school more highly.