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Three Berkeley elementary schools to reopen for small groups late November

Berkeley schools were given the green light to reopen their middle and high schools on Monday, but school officials have no plans to do that yet, a school district spokeswoman said Friday.

However, three elementary schools are opening next week to small groups of students and in late November, the size of those groups may increase, spokeswoman Trish McDermott said. Elementary schools were permitted last month to reopen, but none have done so.

Middle schools and high schools were given the approval Thursday because the city’s Covid-19 case rates are down, due in part to healthy habits, health officials said, but the school board has not set a reopening date.

McDermott said:

“The district is working toward that goal.”

Before middle schools and high schools reopen, they must have a plan that complies with the the city’s health order and the state’s COVID-19 Industry Guidance: Schools and School-Based Programs.

The plan must be placed on the school’s website and shared with school families.

City officials said that families who send their children to school should try to lower their overall exposure to the virus by limiting other public activities, such as slumber parties and playdates.

Elementary schools scheduled to reopen Monday include Jefferson, Malcolm X and Rosa Parks.

Teachers and administrators identified the elementary school students who will return to campuses Monday based on individual needs, McDermott said.

She also said the school district is planning a wider phased reopening of elementary schools in January, which will rely on a hybrid learning model.

Students in pre-K through second grade will return to campuses Jan. 13, while third- through fifth-grade students are scheduled to go back Jan. 20.

More details on the timeline can be found at

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