School Reopening: Top 5 Things to Think AboutJULY 8, 2020| SpeedPro of Scottsdale
School principals and administrators are facing extremely difficult decisions this summer. It is challenging enough planning for a new school year; this summer, they have the additional challenge of keeping their students safe in this COVID-19 environment. Social distancing guidelines that seem to be in an ever-changing state of flux add to the confusion. As one principal recently told me, “We are making it up as we go.”
We put out a survey recently to garner feedback from school decision makers. Here are 5 insights, gained from the responses as well as from brainstorming with schools as they plan for Fall.
1. Consider a Hybrid Learning Model
With Arizona currently a COVID-19 hotspot in the country, both parents and school administrators are understandably concerned about student safety. School administrators are looking at on-site learning with social distancing in an effort to get back to some normalcy with working parents. They are also seriously considering a hybrid situation with rotating half the class on-site and the other half of the class participating virtually such as through Zoom. This is going to be dependent on how the COVID-19 situation plays out in our state in the next month.
2. Minimize On-campus Crowding
At the beginning of this pandemic, the description we all heard about the novel coronavirus was the word “unprecedented”. That word describes the efforts for schools to reopen in a safe manner in this continuing environment. By definition, a school environment has been a large number of students in an enclosed classroom for extended periods of time…all of the wrong variables for preventing the spread of COVID-19. Certainly, virtual/Zoom learning solves the social distancing problem, however the difficulty with parents having to oversee much of the younger students’ work presents an untenable situation in some cases. The expectation is that this solution will be a last resort.
3. Implement a Manageable Social Distance Strategy
At a minimum, students will likely be required to wear masks at all times within the schools. There will also be some form of social distancing, whether it is through spaced-apart desks or decreased classroom occupancy. Safety partitions around students could play a part, however that brings its own challenges due to cost and necessary configuration to ensure safety. In our studio, we have explored ways to ensure safety without the use of masks, through hanging screens as well as stand alone partitions.
4. Use Safety Signage
Social distancing floor decals will take a large role in a safety signage plan. Floor decals printed with “6-ft Separation” reminders will help students keep their distance. Wall and bathroom mirror decals will be useful for handwashing reminders. Lastly, outdoor signage such as exterior A-frame signs will be used for directional purposes as well as for providing information to visitors.
5. Take It Outside
Some club activities as well as class session normally held inside may need to be moved outside. If getting students to learn safely in a classroom setting is a challenge, the close contact of extra-curricular activities can feel like an overwhelming obstacle, especially within the activities that require higher than normal air expulsion such as chorus or sports.
Partner with SpeedPro Scottsdale for Your Re-opening Needs
Regardless of the norms of the past years, to keep students connected, innovation is going to be key to keeping students engaged. We care about helping schools stay safe and have developed safety signage specific to the needs of schools. Check out our school signage website.
Need something different? Give us a call…480-998-1510.