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Disinfection Update - September 2020

To be back to school or to not to be back at school?? That is the question...

To be back to school or to not

Many of us are parents, and we have had to make the decision to send our kids back to school, or take the remote learning route. Some schools have decided to go with 100% remote learning, which takes that difficult choice away from the parent(s) or guardians. For me… not so lucky… Working in the healthcare field gives us all a bit of a different perspective. Our healthcare workers and Emergency responders have seen the damage this current pandemic can do from the front lines. Administrators, EVS, and support staffs have also seen the patients and numbers, and I would think we all have heard of a friend, loved one, or acquaintance that has been impacted by the virus.

So, do I send my kids back to school? Will they be safe? Is our school doing everything it can to make it safe? Do they even know how to make it safe?

We had several "Zoom" meetings with the school Administrators and Coaches. During these meetings they would lay out that weeks plan to reopen the school.

The following week would come and there would be a different tentative plan, but with that same level of uncertainty. I realize this is something no school could ever anticipate, and I have to believe they are all going to work as hard as they can to keep the children, and themselves, safe - but how, and will it be safe enough?

Just to make matters worse, our children are active in sports, creating a whole bunch of additional considerations and questions. Our 17-year-old son is a 10-year veteran football player going into his senior year of High School; our 13-year-old daughter is an up and coming 7th grade field hockey player. These are contact sports and kids will not be social distancing, wearing masks, or bathing in hand sanitizer, in spite of how hard we've worked to teach them to do so.

Because our schools offered us a choice, our first thought was that remote learning was the way to go. Then we started to look at the data regarding the effects of not socializing, not being active, not being a normal kid, and it kind of balanced the scale. So for us it came down to a family meeting because we wanted to hear what our kids thought, and we wanted to empower them to be involved in helping to make the decision. We gave them some notice so they could think about both sides, and so they would be prepared for our discussion. In the meantime, we had done our homework with offline one-on-one calls to the schools, coaches and parents. In the end, after weighing it all out, we decided as a family that our best course of action was to try to return to normal…whatever that is these days!

Some of the interventions our schools, and other schools, are using include:

  • Smaller class sizes and alternating on campus days
  • Masks and Face-shields
  • Enhanced manual cleaning
  • Foggers
  • Increased air filtration and increased outside air mixing
  • Outdoor classes while possible
  • Ultraviolet UVC equipment for air and surface disinfection

Thank you to all Teachers, Custodians, Administrators, and Parents for helping to keep all of our kids safe!


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