School Closure Information And Resources

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DISPATCH FROM OXFORD PTA

Hello, normally this is where remarks from Principal Rhine would go. But today it’s just me, your PTA Communications Maven Myles. Sheltering from home affects us all, but it affects us all differently. I don’t have the answers to what comes next – I wish I did – but PLEASE see below for info about important resources for the families in our community, especially those who are particularly hard hit by what’s been going on.
1. Oxford Emergency Fund
2. Students offering childcare assistance
3. Roundup of resources during school closure

Dear Berkeley Community Member,

We are reaching out to you with an urgent request. Students and families affected by school closures and COVID-19 need your help. In the wake of this crisis, our work at the Schools Fund is focused on providing support to the students and families most impacted. We are working with the BUSD Office of Family Engagement and Equity, the BUSD Homeless Outreach Program and the District administration to identify needs and to direct services to students and families. Needs we are currently aware of include groceries, emergency housing assistance, books and access to technology. While the exact needs are coming into focus, it is clear that the effects are broad and the need is great. With your help, we can support efforts to stabilize families through this crisis.

  Please Donate to Support Students and Families
  Sign up to Volunteer

We know that there will be a demand for volunteer help, and again, those needs are coming into focus. We are working with the District to identify how our volunteers will be of service. Please sign up and we will be in touch!
Families that need support can contact Carol Perez directly to be matched with services or funds:
Childcare services for Berkeley Families in Need:

My name is Ava Clason and I am a Junior at Berkeley High School. As I am sure you know by now, precautions against COVID-19 are being taken, leading to all BUSD schools to close. We realize this can have a large impact on many, especially low income families,  in more ways than just education. School provides safe spaces, meals, and childcare for families to which these things are not available. We understand that the main priority is student safety, however we know that many families are being left without resources or support. Myself, along with a growing number of high school volunteers are putting together a temporary babysitting service for those that are in need, especially parents in health care professions or professions that require them to work outside the home. I have been babysitting for 4 years, I am a red cross certified babysitter, and I have a love for children. My lovely volunteers (which we will be vetting) and I, many of which have similar experience, hope to begin this service as soon as possible.   

How it works: 
Parents with childcare needs can contact me, Ava Clason, at <> or via phone at:(720) 539-1026  

We will put parents in contact with students that fit their needs for a free at home babysitter. We will try to provide meals and activities upon request, although meals cannot be guaranteed. These volunteers are passionate students who understand that support is needed through this time.   

Please include the following information in your request for childcare:
location/family address  
#  of children,
ages of children
days and times  when you need care
Language needs: 
Notes (any other needs, ex. food restrictions, etc.)

Ava will be in touch with you to confirm services.

Meals

The Berkeley Unified School District Nutrition Department is serving FREE BREAKFAST AND LUNCH as take-away meals for school-age children 18 and younger.

Picking up meals for your children is considered an essential service and is allowed under the March 16 Shelter-in-Place Order. NOTE: We have changed the schedule.

Please continue to visit this page for schedule updates.

Locations

  • Berkeley Arts Magnet Elementary, 2015 Virginia Street
  • Rosa Parks Elementary, 920 Allston Way
  • Longfellow Middle School, 1500 Derby Street
  • Willard Middle School, 2425 Stuart Street
  • Berkeley High School, 1980 Allston Way
  • Martin Luther King Jr. Middle School, 1781 Rose Street (enter behind the school at Grant/Rose, through the gate)

BUSD Meal Distribution from Tuesday March 17 – Friday March 20 (Daily)
Time: Open from 11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. to pick up both breakfast and lunch

Note: Friday pickup includes Friday lunch and Monday breakfast

BUSD Meal Distribution the week of March 23 – 27 (Monday, Wednesday, Friday)

Days: Monday, Wednesday, Friday

Time: Open from 11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. to pick up multiple meals

Internet Access

If your family does not have access to a laptop or the internet, please leave a message at 510-644-8931. We are working on ways to support you. Comcast is offering free internet for 60 days for low income families, visit internetessentials.com for more information.

Home Learning Resources

We are building out online resources for families at berkeleyschools.net.

Resources for families during school closure

  • For updates about the Berkeley Unified School District (BUSD) schools closure and opening and additional resources please call 510-644-8931 or look at the BUSD website at berkeleyschools.net
  • Berkeley Residents, call 311 (510-981-2489) for updates on ANY services available.
  • Text ‘HOPE’ to 20121
  • For Alameda county services call 211 (888-886-9660) for all updates or go to Alameda county resource finder
  • For Contra Costa Services go to Contra-Costa county website

Food Needs

  • The Berkeley Food Network’s on-site pantry will remain open during this period of COVID-19 containment as long as we are able to source food. Anyone in need of free food is welcome to visit. Be assured that our staff and volunteers are using recommended practices to ensure that everyone who visits our pantry stays healthy.
    • When: Monday – Thursday 10am – 2pm; Monday and Wednesday 5 – 7pm; 1st and 3rd Saturdays 10am – 12pm
    • Where: 1925 Ninth St., Berkeley (Enter through the door facing the parking lot).
  • Alameda County Food Bank : 1-800-870-FOOD (3663) or 1-510-635-3663. You can also visit FoodNow
  • Contra-Costa Food Bank: 1-855-309-3663 (FOOD) for help and information.
  • Berkeley Food and Housing Project offers a weekday community meal program served by volunteers.
    • When: Mon, Tues, Thurs & Fri* 3:30–4:45pm *A free spaghetti meal is provided by the Lutheran Church of the Cross on Wednesdays from 3:30–5:30pm.
    • Where: Lutheran Church of the Cross, 1744 University Ave, Berkeley, 94703

Work Concerns

  • Unemployment: If you are laid off due to your business shutting down or reducing staff, you may apply for unemployment without a waiting period. Visit the EDD website.
  • Disability: If you get sick and need to apply for disability, you can file a claim here with a medical provider’s authorization here
  • Paid Family Leave: If your family member becomes sick and you must take care of them, you can file a claim for paid family leave and/or FMLA with a medical provider’s authorization: here

Help Paying Bills

Visit Alameda county website for assistance.
If you need help paying rent during this difficult period here are some resources:

  • Alameda County Season of Sharing 510-272-3700
  • Oakland residents only Catholic Charities 510-768- 3100

Medical Care

For suspected COVID-19 cases call your doctor.
Lifelong Medical Care offers Immediate Care Clinics open to anyone with or without medical insurance at three locations:

You can also find a directory of medical providers for any or no insurance at: achealthcare.org
Alameda County Acute Communicable Disease Control: Weekdays 8:30 am to 5:00 pm Phone: 510-267-3250
Berkeley Public Health Division: Weekdays 8:00 am to 5:00 pm Phone: 510-981-5292

Medical Care

Lifelong Medical Care offers Immediate Care Clinics open to anyone with or without medical insurance at three locations:

You can also find a directory of medical providers for any or no insurance at: achealthcare.org

  • Alameda County Acute Communicable Disease Control: Weekdays 8:30 am to 5:00 pm Phone: 510-267-3250
  • Berkeley Public Health Division: Weekdays 8:00 am to 5:00 pm Phone: 510-981-5292

Mental Health Services

  • For psychiatric emergencies call the Mobile Crisis Number: (510) 981-5900 For support consultation or resources for uncomfortable thoughts call the Crisis Line: (510) 981-5244
  • Alameda county teens who are feeling mentally unsafe can text ‘SAFE’ to 20121 between the hours of 4pm-11pm, to communicate with a counselor.
  • Alameda County Suicide Prevention (Se hablan Español): 1-888-628-9454 For an immediate Alameda County mental health referral Call ACCESS (open 24/7): 1-800-491-9099

BUSD Information from Superintendent Brent Stephens

Additional Information about School Programs

During the period from March 16 – April 3, please note the following:

  1. Transportation to and from the school will be discontinued
  2. The BEARS and LEARNS program will also be closed
  3. All Berkeley Adult School programs will be closed
  4. All facilities rentals are cancelled
  5. All athletics games and practices are suspended
The District Office is Closed to the Public

District Office leadership, and some BUSD staff are required to remain at work to perform duties that are essential to the district for some or all of the closure. However, the District Office will be closed to the public. Please visit the BUSD website at berkeleyschools.net for contact information for our district office departments.

Important Social Distancing Guidance

City of Berkeley Public Health continues to help us assess social distancing guidance and other health agency directives. We are appreciative they provided information for our School Board at this week’s meeting and we look forward to their continued partnership as the coronavirus situation develops. “While this was not a public health recommendation, we know BUSD weighed many complex factors in its decision to close,” said Dr. Lisa Hernandez, the City of Berkeley’s Health Officer. “We will continue to partner with them as we work to slow the spread of COVID-19.”
Dr. Hernandez advises everyone to continue to follow these important guidelines:

  • WASH YOUR HANDS FREQUENTLY
  • COVER YOUR COUGH
  • STAY HOME AND AWAY FROM OTHERS WHEN ILL

Dr. Hernandez also emphasizes that while school is out, it is very important that everyone engage in “social distancing” to prevent the spread of the virus.

  • STAY HOME AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE (EVEN IF NOT FEELING ILL)
  • AVOID GATHERINGS
  • STAY AWAY FROM OLDER ADULTS, such as grandparents, as well as those with chronic health conditions

You can also stay up to date on the rapidly evolving COVID-19 situation at cityofberkeley.info/coronavirus