Challenges for School Superintendent Reopening
As schools reopen across the country the safety of students and staff top the list of concerns for administrators. While no one-size-fits-all solution exists for every school, taking basic steps and using recommended guidelines helps limit the threat posed by the coronavirus. The following superintendent reopening guide provides recommendations for the safe reopening of schools this fall.
Many questions face superintendents reopening schools this academic year. What if a student tests positive for COVID-19? A teacher? Should a medical professional remain on site every day? Many schools struggle to find answers to these questions, after all, this is new territory. Here are a few simple steps to help maintain safe schools (a more complete list is available from the website of The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention):
- Decrease classroom size to increase space for social distancing and use outside spaces if possible.
- Educate students about proper handwashing and maintain adequate levels of soap and hot water in all bathrooms.
- Clean and disinfect building surfaces with special attention paid to high-touch areas.
- Enforce mask wearing for all staff and students in grades three and above.
In addition to the above guidelines, paying special attention to issues of indoor air quality remains a critical part of maintaining the safety of students and staff.
Improving IAQ in Schools
Earlier this year a group of 239 doctors published an article in the Clinical Infectious Diseases journal. In their appeal to governments across the world they stressed the coronavirus’s potential to spread through aerosol transmission. Consequently, increased focus has shifted to the role that air conditioning plays in the spread of the viruses. As temperatures remain high in large parts of the country well into the school year, air conditioning recirculates the air inside buildings. As a result, air conditioning presents a risk of spreading airborne viruses. This means superintendents must prioritize the cleaning and maintenance of HVAC systems to improve IAQ during the COVID-19 pandemic.
3 Methods for Superintendent Reopening Schools Safely
The following methods and systems allow superintendents to be proactive in keeping their schools safe.
1. Bipolar Ionization Improves IAQ
HVAC-mounted ionizers destroy airborne viruses. These devices use positive and negative ions to form a cluster around viruses, bacteria, and mold then breaks them down while also destroying VOCs and neutralizing odors.
2. Commercial-grade Air Purifiers with Bi-Polar Ionization
Professional commercial-grade air purifiers with HEPA filters catch airborne contaminants. Using sound, motion, and odor, these purifiers adjust their performance based on activity in the room to promote a quiet and health environment. Wall-mounted air purifiers blend into the decor of classrooms and help reopen schools safely.
3. Coronavirus Test Kits for the Environmental
Environmental COVID testing effective identifies and and provides your team with the data to help control the spread of the SARS-CoV-2 that causes COVID-19. For instance, pathogens remain on surfaces for hours. As a result, high-touch surfaces such as door handles, desks, and hand railings can pose a huge threat to the safety of students and staff. Easy-to-use coronavirus environmental test kits provide fast and accurate results. Any superintendent reopening guide should include a test kit for collecting samples to help ensure cleaning protocols are being followed and are effective. After collection, samples then get sent to an environmental lab for study with results available within 1 to 2 days.
Protect Staff and Students
Above all, the safety of students and staff is a priority this school year. To apply these solutions to superintendent reopening guides or for more information on DIY indoor air tests and improving indoor air quality, contact Building Health Check today.