Berkeley unified unveils COVID-19 vaccination plan for teachers

Berkeley Unified School District says their goal is to have all students, including high schoolers, back in the classrooms by the week of April 19.

Video Transcript

GAVIN NEWSOM: 1.3 million. That's good, but clearly on the basis of what we are administering on a daily basis, it's not enough. We'll run through that supply in less than a week.

DAN ASHLEY: It's official, Berkeley public schools will begin reopening for in-person learning. The youngest children should be back in class beginning in late March. High schoolers are scheduled for mid-April. ABC 7 news reporter Lyanne Melendez says the return hinges on getting teachers vaccinated.

LYANNE MELENDEZ: Berkeley will have enough supply to begin vaccinating teachers who serve preschool through second grade. That's because Berkeley is one of four cities in California with its own public health department.

BRENT STEPHENS: So the city of Berkeley through its public health department is able to acquire vaccines.

LINDA MELENDEZ: Those teachers with the youngest students will be first starting the week of February 22. The rest of the elementary school teachers will be phased in beginning March 1st, secondary school teachers the week of March 8th. The city of Berkeley is hoping to get more of the Pfizer vaccine, which requires a shorter time period for full vaccination. This means teachers could start earlier. In the next few days, teachers will receive a link from the Berkeley Unified School district, which will allow them to make appointments.

The goal is to have the youngest kids-- preschool through 2nd grade back in the classroom by March 29th. Grades 3 through 5, 6 through 8 and 9th graders would return the week of April 12th. 10th through 12th graders are expected back on April 19. Students will return to campus in a hybrid mode. School will continue through the first week of June.

BRENT STEPHENS: The fact that we may have two full months to return to school before the end of the school year I think is an enormous win for our students and families

TAI RAINO: I didn't think it was real. I was like, are we really going back with only like two months left? But then we got the email and all our parents did. And I was like, I was happy. Like it's better than Zoom and online school.

LIEL GLIKSMAN: We have so many kids at the school, and we're like rubbing elbows in the hallway. And I don't know how it's going to work.