BERKELEY (CBS SF) – Berkeley schools were given the OK 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, next week three elementary schools are opening to small groups of students and in late November, the size of those groups may increase, spokeswoman Trish McDermott said. Elementary schools were given the OK last month to reopen, but none have done so.

Middle schools and high schools were given the OK Thursday because 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.

“The district is working toward that goal,” McDermott said.

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

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 COVID-19 by limiting other public activities such as slumber parties and playdates.

Elementary schools that will reopen Monday are 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 using a hybrid learning model.

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

More details on the timeline can be found at

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