BConnects: Health & Facilities
Our plans continue to be shaped by consideration of the following:
- Official guidance from the New York State Department of Health, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and other city, state and federal agencies
- Resources provided by the American Academy of Pediatrics, the T.H. Chan School of Public Health at Harvard University, and the National Association of Independent Schools
- Advice from international schools that have successfully reopened their campuses
- Ongoing consultations with medical professionals
- Emerging data and evidence-based best practices
- Parent and guardian feedback gleaned from surveys
- Factors specific to Berkeley Carroll, including physical plant, transportation and staffing
- Our approach will be informed but not determined by the New York City Department of Education
Berkeley Carroll is implementing mandatory daily health screenings for anyone coming to campus, to be submitted via the Magnus Daily Parent Screening/Attestation Mobile App. (More information on this is forthcoming.)
In addition to answering a few questions, all individuals must have their temperature checked each day, prior to departure for school. Anyone presenting a temperature greater than 100.0℉ must remain home, per DOH guidelines. A second temperature screening will be conducted at school each morning.
By order of the governor, any person arriving from a state with a positive test rate higher than 10 per 100,000 residents over a 7-day rolling average, or a state with a 10 percent or higher positivity rate over a 7-day rolling average must quarantine for 14 days. This currently applies to 34 states, Washington D.C., and Puerto Rico. Accordingly, any student, faculty or staff member returning to New York from a listed area will not be allowed to enter Berkeley Carroll facilities until 14 days after arrival in New York. Updated information, including the current list of affected states and areas, can be found here.
Additionally, the Presidential Proclamations regarding travel issued in March are still in effect. Travelers from abroad, including US Citizens returning home, are required to self-quarantine for 14 days upon return home.
All individuals must wear a face covering to enter school facilities, grounds, or spaces administered by the school, such as buses. Masks will be worn in all common areas, including hallways, lobbies, and restrooms. The school will issue two reusable cloth masks to every student, faculty and staff member. Individuals will also be permitted to wear their own face coverings, as long as they adequately cover the nose and mouth areas. All students will be expected to continue wearing their masks in class; however, mask breaks will be instituted at regular intervals where safe distancing and activities permit it.
Classrooms have been reconfigured to allow for the recommended 6 feet of distance between individuals. Shared tables have been replaced by individual desks where possible, and where it’s not, students’ seats are arranged at 6’ distances, and the school has installed polycarbonate dividers to separate table mates.
All schedules bringing people to campus feature staggered arrival and departure times to reduce the number of individuals moving through doors, halls and other common spaces.
Where possible, hallways are labeled for unidirectional traffic. Lockers have been removed from narrower passageways to allow for greater distance between individuals and discourage clustering. In spaces where lockers must be left intact, they will remain unused as long as the school exercises social distancing measures.
Facilities Cleaning and Disinfection
Berkeley Carroll has increased its facilities staffing during the school day to allow for frequent cleaning and disinfection of high traffic and high touch areas. Bathrooms, in particular, will undergo hourly cleaning and disinfection. The school has invested in an electrochemical activation system that will produce a nontoxic, hospital grade sanitizer in unlimited quantities. The school has also invested in five electrostatic sprayers to use in bathrooms, classrooms, playgrounds and school buses.
Hand sanitizer and surface cleaner will be available in all classrooms. In addition to systematic cleaning throughout the school day, we will have a dedicated team of cleaners working every day after school ends to thoroughly clean and disinfect every classroom, office, bathroom and common space following guidelines issued by the CDC, and state and local health officials.
Access to Berkeley Carroll facilities is strictly limited to students and employees for approved reasons and at approved times. Parents, guardians, other caregivers and visitors are not allowed in school buildings. Contractors who must have access (HVAC specialists, dining service employees, for example) are subject to the same screening and face covering protocols outlined above.
All central HVAC systems have been adjusted to allow for the maximum fresh air ventilation rate, and we have upgraded systems to use high efficiency level MERV 13 filters. Most rooms that have been designated for use have functioning windows to the outside, which will be kept open to allow for the exchange of air. Although there we may use a few large rooms that do not have windows, those spaces are connected to the school’s most efficient HVAC units, with the highest volume of air exchange. Additionally, the school has installed air purifiers with HEPA filters in those rooms to help circulate and decontaminate air as a support for the central HVAC system.
Nurses’ Offices and Isolation Rooms
The lower school nurse’s office is located at 701 Carroll Street, off the main lobby, in the space previously used as a faculty lounge. Should any student, faculty or staff member present with COVID-19 symptoms at school, there is a temporary isolation room set up, which will be supervised, so that a sick individual can be isolated while awaiting pickup.
The nurse’s office at Lincoln Place remains in its location within the middle school office, near the main entrance; however, the middle school director and administrative assistant have been relocated to provide more space for health staff and an isolation area.
Response to Suspected and Confirmed COVID-19 Cases
Any student, faculty or staff member who screens positive for COVID-19 symptoms must submit documentation from a health care provider prior to returning to school. The evaluation must confirm either a negative COVID-19 test result, along with symptom resolution, or clearance following a positive result and passage of 14 days since symptoms’ first appearance. Discharge from quarantine and return to school will be conducted in coordination with the local health department.
Individual pods, classes, grades, divisions, or the whole school may be closed in response to a confirmed case of COVID-19. We will report positive cases of those on the premises, as well as those we have been notified of, to NYC and NYS DOH.
It is important that community members notify us if they have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive, or if a household member tests positive.
Contact Tracing and Communication
In the event of a student, faculty or staff member receiving a positive result on a COVID-19 diagnostic test, Berkeley Carroll is required by NYS and NYC to assist the DOH in contact tracing, following the protocols, training and tools provided through the New York State Contact Tracing Program. Some school personnel have undergone or will undergo contact tracing training to better support these efforts.
Berkeley Carroll will notify faculty or families of students that they may have come into contact with an individual testing positive for COVID-19. Privacy laws explicitly prohibit Berkeley Carroll from revealing the name of the individual who has tested positive for COVID-19. We may reveal only that the student, faculty or staff member has come in contact with an unnamed person and how we came to know this information (contact tracing or another mechanism).