The Coronavirus pandemic has affected aspects of almost every social structure around the world, including our nation’s education system. Students everywhere have been forced to stay at home and learn from/interact with their teachers and peers through a computer screen – not only putting a strain on their mental development but also negatively impacting their social development. However, a little over a year after the world shut down, the future is beginning to look bright again.
School districts around the United States are moving from remote and hybrid learning models to five days a week in-person learning. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is continuously sharing safety tips and guidelines for school districts and businesses. The CDC recommends five key prevention strategies for reducing the risk of viral transmission between students and staff in order to safely reopen schools full-time:2
- Universal and correct wearing of masks;
- Physical distancing;
- Handwashing and respiratory etiquette;
- Cleaning and maintaining healthy facilities, including proper school ventilation, and;
- Contact tracing in combination with isolation and quarantine, in collaboration with guidelines from relevant state, local, territorial, and tribal health departments.
It is critical that building administration and staff take a holistic approach when implementing these strategies. Administrators and staff should work together to ensure all five preventative measures are being practiced simultaneously.
Building administrators should be in communication with their custodial team daily to make sure all recommendations for establishing and maintaining healthy facilities are being met. With stimulus funding going directly to school districts to improve safety protocols for their students, smart equipment and integration is available to significantly improve healthy learning environments.
Technology such as contactless temperature screening systems, touchless building entry and washing stations, UV-light cleaning technology, disinfecting filtration systems that “wash the air”, and pandemic mode controls that increase air exchange rates without overworking the equipment can all be instrumental when bringing back students and staff full-time.
Stark Tech Group is available to provide any and all of these technology solutions and can customize any solution to fit the needs of your building. We are a single-source agent for complete facility optimization, including (mechanical or electrical) design through implementation services.
- U.S. Department of Education, Office of Planning, Evaluation and Policy Development, ED COVID-19 Handbook, Volume 2: Roadmap to Reopening Safely and Meeting All Students’ Needs Washington, DC, 2021
- U.S. Department of Education, Office of Planning, Evaluation and Policy Development, ED COVID-19 Handbook, Volume 1: Strategies for Safely Reopening Elementary and Secondary Schools, Washington, DC, 2021.