Pre K with masks and testing?
Are there any preschools with openings that require the kids and teachers to wear masks and also do surveillance testing of the kids and staff? I’ve found only one school that meets this criteria and they’re full.
Moderator Note: see also previous discussions about this: Masking During Covid ... Preschool during Covid
Oct 2, 2021
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Escuela Bilingue Internacional (EBI) has mandatory masking + weekly testing for all students/staff/teachers including for pre-k classes. Not sure if they have openings but definitely work asking. EBI wrote its own pandemic response plan that includes these issues and addresses many other layers of prevention (ventilation, etc).
Hello. Ecole Bilingue de Berkeley, a French-American school with a preschool-8th grade program, has very strong covid protocols and requires masking for all students and regular testing for students and staff. I do not know if they have current openings but we've been very impressed by their approach to covid safety. We've also loved having our kids in an immersion program.
Hearts leap north requires testing of the teachers and the surveillance testing is optional for kids, but I think all or most have opted in. The parents and teachers are 100% vaccinated and they require masks. It's the most wonderful preschool imaginable!
I believe most of the East Bay independent schools are doing weekly testing, so I would check in with those that offer preschool programs. EBI, EB, and the Renaissance School come to mind but there are probably others. All schools and preschools in the state are required to have kids and teachers masked, so hopefully that has not been hard to find (and I'd skip any school that is not following that mandate, because who knows how many other licensing requirements they are also ignoring!)
Every preschool I know of requires masking for teachers and students, I believe it's required by the county. Hearts Leap does surveillance testing for kids (and I'm guessing teachers too?) on site. We are at Via Nova and we have home-based PCR testing, everyone swabs at home and then the samples get sent into a lab - required weekly for teachers and recommended for kids and parents. But I think you're going to have a hard time finding any spots at any preschool right now; most fill up for the fall by early spring, so to find a spot right now you'll have to cast a wide net and probably compromise on something. One thing you could consider is starting a testing program, we just started ours at Via Nova and people's insurance or the CARES act covers all the costs, so the preschool just has to coordinate distribution of testing materials and sending in the samples each week. (Not that that's nothing, but it isn't like they're paying for all of the tests!)
Ducks Nest in Berkeley has strict mask requirements for students and teachers (and parents, when inside the gate), and vaccine requirement for teachers, but does not do their own surveillance testing of kids or staff. They do have strict requirements for surveillance of symptoms and everyone attests to their child's health at the beginning of each day, and they require a negative PCR test before a child can come back to school (even after just a clear runny nose). FYI, the type of rapid antigen testing that some schools are doing is not very helpful in terms of detecting asymptomatic infection - it detects less than half of what a PCR test would detect in an asymptomatic person. Rapid antigen tests are really best used to confirm Covid in the presence of symptoms. The testing piece isn't a deal-breaker for me.