Birney COVID 19

01/19/2022 DECISION TREE

Testing Information Chart

If you have been contacted by school or county officials please follow their instructions/protocol. Keep child home and call school immediately at 619-497-3500 if your child exhibits ANY of the following symptoms:

  • Fever with or no chills > 100.F 
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath 
  • Nasal congestion/Rhinorrhea (Runny Nose)
  • Sore Throat 
  • Nausea/Vomiting/Diarrhea
  • Fatigue
  • New Loss of Taste/Smell 
  • Headache
  • Muscle/Body Aches
  • Poor Feeding or Poor Appetite


NOTE the following updates may reflect older information but we are leaving it posted until instructed to remove it.

Masking Update 06/2022

Due to the recent rise in COVID-19 cases, masks are required for all attendees and participants at any event held indoors on-campus before, during or after the school day.

Masking Update sent by SDUSD 02/15/2022

Dear San Diego Unified Families and Colleagues, 
We know you’ve been presented with unique challenges related to the pandemic this school year, and we hope this message finds you healthy.  We appreciate your understanding as our District and schools have adjusted to quickly changing public health guidance. 
With active COVID-19 cases and positivity rates declining in our schools, we are pleased to announce an update to our outdoor masking policy.
Students, staff, and any other individuals on school grounds and district central office sites will no longer be required to wear masks outdoors, effective Feb. 16, 2022. Even with this change in policy, the District continues to encourage all individuals to wear masks outdoors when the risk of transmission is high and/or distancing is not possible.
Masking indoors will continue to be required for all students, staff and essential visitors on all district property, including schools and central offices, regardless of vaccination status. Surgical masks or higher-level respirators (e.g., N95s, KN95s, KF94s) with good fit are required for staff and highly recommended for students. Staff are encouraged to refer to the updated mask guidance flier for staff and families are encouraged to review the CDC masking tips for children for help in choosing an effective and proper fitting mask. 
District physician Dr. Howard Taras has advised that as a largely aerosol-transmitted infection, COVID-19 is not readily transmitted outdoors.  Additionally, the use of masks outdoors had been an essential component of our contact tracing protocols; however, as state public health officials have authorized alternative options for managing students identified as “close contacts,” the use of masks outdoors has become less of a factor.
Although the surge of Omicron is waning, this highly transmissible variant of COVID-19 is still prevalent in our community.  In the months ahead, other variants of this virus are anticipated to cause new resurgences. The goal of the District is to keep our schools safe from the spread of the COVID-19 virus.  No student, parent or staff member should feel that coming to school increases the likelihood of getting COVID-19.  Wearing masks indoors is the surest way to achieve that goal.
You may have heard that the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) recently updated its guidance for the use of face masks allowing the universal indoor masking requirement to expire on February 15, 2022. This updated guidance does not apply to schools. In fact, the guidance specifies that masks are required for all individuals in indoor settings at schools, regardless of vaccination status. 
Looking forward, a “masking for all” school policy can be relaxed when either serious health risks of COVID-19 disease are negligible and/or community case rates are such that contracting this virus in a school setting is extremely unlikely.  As we have done in the past, we will seek the insight of medical experts at UC San Diego for guidance. District physician Dr. Howard Taras will start a dialogue with these experts to determine appropriate indicators for when to lift indoor masking. 
Safety continues to be our top priority. Students are now surrounded by adults who have been vaccinated against the virus, and they are protected by the availability of high-quality masks. These measures will require constant monitoring and assessment, as COVID-19 remains present in our community. As part of this effort:
  • Vaccination for all age groups continues to be one of our best and strongest strategies against the spread of the virus. For those families with eligible but still unvaccinated individuals, please speak with your doctor about the benefits and protection offered by the COVID-19 vaccine to help us accelerate the return to normalcy and lessen the health threat for everyone.
  • Tens of thousands of students have already signed up for optional weekly testing at schools. If you’d like to enroll your student in weekly COVID-19 testing, please visit our website. Additionally, we strongly encourage everyone to order an at-home COVID-19 testing kit from the Federal testing program.
  • Please remember that if your child is showing symptoms of any sickness, you must keep them home that day and report the absence and the symptoms to your school. San Diego Unified follows the San Diego County Office of Education’s decision tree regarding when and where to quarantine in the case of COVID-19, and when it’s possible to return to the classroom.
  • Recently, we introduced a daily blog, so we can update everyone on policy changes without flooding your email inboxes. We continue working to update the online dashboard, so students, staff and the community can monitor testing and positive case rates in our schools. It is currently being updated weekly.
Thank you to everyone’s collective effort, our schools are the best place to help every student reach their potential. Thank you and have an outstanding second half of the school year!
San Diego Unified School District

Exposure Letter sent 01/21/2022 
Dear Families, 

Birney IB World School considers the health and well-being of our students and staff a priority. Please be assured that we are committed to facilitating an optimal learning experience while ensuring the safety of our students and staff. 

We are alerting you that Birney IB World School has had more  than 5 cases of positive COVID 19 students or staff on its site in the past week 01/21/2022. Due to privacy  laws, information regarding these individuals’ identity cannot be released. Infections diagnosed  in students and school staff are not necessarily the result of exposure at school. In fact, schools  are considered safe places to prevent infection between individuals, because safety protocols  are followed at school and supervised.  

Because of the high number of cases, many staff and students on our campus may have been  exposed (for longer than 15 minutes within 6 feet) to one or more individuals diagnosed with  COVID-19. District health staff assist the local health department with this process of identifying  close contacts; however during this time of high case rates, it is possible that not all close  contacts will be identified.  

We are following public health recommendations to ensure that those with COVID-19 follow  instructions for isolation and they will remain away from school (and elsewhere) until it is safe  to return.  

If your student is identified by group tracing as having been exposed to a COVID-positive individual, here is what you need to know:

  • Your child may remain in school unless they develop symptoms or test positive for COVID-19. Being exposed to somebody with COVID-19 does not necessarily mean that your child will become infected. In fact, scientific research and experience from around the country – including from California during this school year – demonstrate that schools remain among the safest places for children to be, because all are wearing masks and our rooms are well-ventilated.
  • All students (including vaccinated and those within 90 days of prior infection) are required to test on Day 3, 4, or 5. Your child can remain in school if tests are negative. Parents are only required to inform the school of positive test results. Exposed students who participate in testing may continue to take part in all aspects of K-12 schooling, including sports and extracurricular activities, unless they develop symptoms or test positive for COVID-19.
    • Please strongly consider signing your child up for the District-sponsored weekly COVID-19 testing at the school site. Alternative testing options for your child are home-testing kits as well as any public health, private medical, or other community testing site. For more information on testing programs at school, visit our District Testing Website.
  • If your child develops symptoms of COVID-19 or tests positive for COVID-19, please ensure they isolate at home immediately and notify your school right away. When you notify us, we can take additional steps to keep our school community safe. We will give you a date when your child can return and if your child needs to be tested.
  • If you haven’t done so yet, we highly recommend your child get vaccinated against COVID-19. If your child is 12 years of age or older, a booster dose is recommended five months after the second dose. Vaccinations against COVID-19 remain the best way to protect against the spread of this virus and against severe disease. Make an appointment to get vaccinated or contact your child’s doctor or healthcare provider to learn more. We also offer vaccines at some district sites. Visit our district COVID-19 Vaccine Website for more details.

If you have not yet opted in to testing at school, or if you recently changed your student’s status due to vaccination, you may wish to opt in (again).  Directions for opting in to testing are below:

Opt-In to Regular, On-site Testing TODAY!
All students are encouraged to participate in regular, on-site COVID-19 testing. Free Covid testing in school not only helps prevent the spread of the virus, but it also helps more students stay in school and continue their education. If you have not already opted-in for your student(s), please follow these steps for regular, on-site testing.

  1. Complete the opt-in process to allow the testers to conduct weekly testing. 
  2. Register and consent in the Primary.Health Portal in order to be tested.
  3. Make sure you notify the school if you are changing your status and wish for your child to be tested.

If you register for testing today, your child will be able to get tested on Thursday.

Take care and, as always, a simple email to [email protected] gets you to my inbox! If you don't hear back from me, please resend your email. 

Ms. Amanda




county's newest decision tree (sent to families on 01/21/22) 

If you have been contacted directly by school, SDUSD, or county, please follow their guidelines. Make sure to notify office 619-497-3500 of any changes to your email or send email to [email protected]


Bee Safe

Birney Bees' - Daily 1, 2, Option to be free of masks while outdoors...

  1. No symptoms!
  2. Properly fitted mask while indoors
  3. Option to take-off mask outdoors when distancing


San Diego Unified Covid Testing Center

  • next to Birney in the San Diego Unified School District's SandiCoast Café building
  • Mon-Fri - 7 am to 7 pm
  • Sat & Sun - 8 am to 5 pm



  • We have a mask mandate both indoors and outside when social distancing cannot be maintained.
  • When eating outside, we will continue to sit in the same small groups with students who they sit next to in the classroom.
  • it is very important that an appropriate mask is worn when required. 
  • Cloth masks alone are not as effective as other options and are discouraged, although still allowed.
  • Better options are surgical masks (which have a nose wire), or a surgical mask in combination with a cloth mask.
  • If wearing both masks, wear a surgical mask (paper disposable) under the cloth mask.
  • Do not combine two surgical masks as they are not designed to fit tightly.
  • Do not combine a N95 mask with any other mask. The most protective masks are N95 masks (or masks of that style; see below).
  • This style mask will be offered and available at all sites: KN95, KF94, N95 or masks of similar style.
  • Note, these may be difficult to wear for long periods of time as they may be uncomfortable.
  • It is better to wear a surgical mask properly than to frequently remove an uncomfortable N95-like mask or to wear the N95 mask improperly.
  • When a mask is soiled or wet from water or saliva, the student may be asked to put on a clean-mask. It is encouraged that students have a second mask in their backpack. 



  • Please sign-up for weekly testing at Birney - see information (below)
  • Other testing sites
    • no more walk up testing at our comprehensive high schools for staff and students who do not attend that school.
    • No staff or student should go to a different school expecting to take a covid test.
    • Staff or students from other schools who have symptoms or need a test to return should seek a test  
      • Covid Testing Center open right next to Birney in the San Diego Unified School District's SandiCoast Café building, open from 7 am to 7 pm during the week and from 8 am to 5 pm on the weekends.
      • own insurance
      • Testing Sites in SD County



Birney Bee's Daily 1-2-3


Screen child every day before leaving home. You MUST KEEP CHILD HOME if exhibiting ANY of the following symptoms. If you have questions call the school.

  • Fever with or no chills w/o taking fever reducing medication > 100.F 
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath 
  • Nasal congestion/Rhinorrhea (Runny Nose)
  • Sore Throat 
  • Nausea/Vomiting/Diarrhea
  • Fatigue
  • New Loss of Taste/Smell 
  • Headache
  • Muscle/Body Aches
  • Poor Feeding or Poor Appetite

The contact tracing and quarantine protocols are in place and our protocol includes notification of non-close-contact parent notification. Our Health & Wellness department contacts families of close contacts (less than 6 feet for more than 15 cumulative minutes) and follow required protocols. 

We are doing our best to mitigate any circumstance where students might be exposed both in the classroom and out. I know that every family is sincerely invested in making sure all our students remain safe and would like to keep the school and its classrooms safe and open. I know we all agree that in-person school is beneficial for our students and we have a collective agreement that this is what our children need.


Checklists ARE available at the gate

For this reason, in the interests of utmost accountability and safety, effective Tuesday, September 6, we require the following safety checks:

  • Symptom screening checklistSymptom Checklist print option 

    Every two weeks we will send home a packet of 10 symptom checklists. You will detach one checklist each morning, answer the questions, sign and include the phone number you can be reached at during the day IN CASE your child experiences symptoms that resemble symptoms of COVID-19. The students will take the checklist to class and in the event they feel ill, the student will be sent to the health office with the screening checklist so contact can be made and you can pick them up.  
    • Clearpass preferred?  You can continue to use Clearpass but you must show your Clearpass at the gate and email the results to your child’s teacher. Clearpass app but you must still complete a daily symptom checklist paper for your child to enter the school gate.
    • Please keep in mind that using Clearpass requires additional work on the part of the teacher and the school. We have to check reports and read emails instead of being able to get right down to instruction. ClearPass job aid


Masks must be fitted properly. Masks will be available at the gate.

Aaccompany your child to the gate.

Have Symptom Check-list in child's hand at the Gate

 We will only allow entry if they do not have a fever and have their Symptom Checklist in hand

  • Temperature screening everyday at entrances to the school
  • Symptom Checklist
    • Staff at each gate ensures that each child has symptom check-list
    • Teacher collects Symptom Check-list daily. in the classroom 
  • Lunchtime seat tracking will reflect the seating charts teachers are using in the classroom so we can trace the exposure should one of the students test positive.



COVID-19 School Testing Option (Acknowledgement) Form are sent home with studentsthe first weeks of school. If you do not have a form you can still sign-up: 

English | Spanish | Tagalog | Vietnamese | Arabic | Somali | Swahili

Thank you for sending in your forms back in quickly indicating if you wished for your child to participate in the COVID-19 testing clinic. I will ask that you complete the informed consent and release of information form as well and return that to the teacher. Testing will occur every Thursday from 8-11.

PARENT PORTAL:  The Birney office has been short-staffed since before the start of school.The launch of the Parent Portal is a time-intensive job, which involves receiving an emailed request from you, verifying that the email matches the one in the system, and attaching directions and the access letter in return. If you haven't already and need to gain access to the Parent Portal send an email to [email protected] with the subject PARENT PORTAL – provide: parent/guardian name and your child’s name, or names. You will receive the access code and password and a job aid to set up the portal.





If your child suffers from seasonal allergies of other chroinic condition that would cause you to note any of those symptoms on a regular basis, complete the 
Chronic Condition Form including certification by your doctor.  

CDPH 21-22 K-12 School Guidance Questions and Answers



Testing Sites in SD County


UPDATES will be sent via email first. Webpage posting may take up some time to update. If you have been contacted directly by school, SDUSD, or county, please follow their guidelines. Make sure to notify office 619-497-3500 of any changes to your email or send email to [email protected]


FREE eBooks about Corona Virus

Virus Stopping ChampionTodos somos poderososManyWaystoShareaHug

For instruction on how to access sites and links to educational videos regarding onsite learning click here Student Site Access Guide.

For information on COVID 19 prevention - Message to Students Regarding COVID-19 Testing, Flu Shots, Etc.

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