Coverage of the COVID-19 Pandemic and Its Impact on Schools, Colleges and Universities


Energy Harness

HVAC

Ceiling Unit Uses UVC Light to Clean Classroom Air

A Florida company with an office in Purdue Research Park has introduced a technology it said would help schools reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission.

Schools In Focus Podcast logo and Stu Rothenberger

Episode 5

Schools In Focus: Rethinking Higher Ed Spaces

Stu Rothenberger, Principal at DLR Group, discusses flexibility on a campus scale, the need for long-term resiliency plans, tackling equity issues, and creating smaller interaction spaces in a post-COVID19 learning environment.

Teacher disinfecting classroom desks.

Cleaning & Sanitizing

Are We Disinfecting Too Much?

Will a more methodical, well-thought-out approach be implemented for disinfectant use or, will they be once again randomly applied, essentially using a “hope for the best” mentality? Let’s hope application is not random, and here is why. In the U.S., disinfectants are considered “pesticides” by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and rightly so.

Student wearing a face mask stands in front of thermal imaging device.

Safety and Security

Why Now Is the Time for Schools to Re-Evaluate Safety Plans

Many of the CDC’s guidelines can be met through the use of technology, and schools should be investing in and implementing technology solutions that not only helps them adhere to CDC guidelines this fall, but bolsters their overall school safety now and in the future.

The screening solutions let employees and visitors self-assess their health and wellness through web- and email-based tools before requesting access to a building.

Access Control

Facility Access Tools Repositioned for New Occupancy Controls

A company that produces physical security products is repositioning its products to address the needs of facilities under new restrictions. The offerings from LenelS2 cover touchless access, occupancy management, enforced access control and screening solutions.

Layout of shared bathrooms by KWK Architects.

Facilities

Residence Hall Designs Expected to Shift in Response to COVID-19

Emphasis on single sleeping unit spaces will probably dominate in residence hall design in coming months and years, along with common areas that encourage physical distancing, wider entrances and kitchens that allow for one-way traffic patterns. Those are the predictions of student housing design experts at KWK Architects.

Healthy Schools

Ed Tech Company Releases COVID-19 Training Videos

An education technology company that produces training has compiled a set of videos to help districts prepare for school reopenings.

Student using her tablet at her desk. Two other students are in the background working at their desk.

Technology

Learning Space Design Plays a Key Role in Supporting Tech Use

What does it mean for a learning space to support the use of technology? It means the space has been intentionally designed to make it easy for teachers and students to seamlessly use any technology they might need, without having to disrupt a lesson or cut into valuable learning time.

Safely Reopening

Chicago Public Schools Hosts Feedback Meetings This Week on Reopening Plan

Chicago Public Schools is conducting several virtual meetings this week to gather feedback on the district’s reopening plans for the fall. The first one was held Monday morning

A row of fitness equipment.

Maintenance and Operations

Keeping Campus Rec Areas and Equipment Clean During a Pandemic

As universities begin to welcome students back, directors of college recreational centers will need to develop plans, policies and protocols to maintain a safe and healthy environment. The many “moving parts” that make up college recreational center operations present some unique challenges for maintaining a safe and clean facility.



Man speaking in a video conference.

Planning

How to Keep COVID-19 from Negatively Impacting Learning Space Design

Here are five ways that K-12 school districts can keep their learning space design projects on track in a world where social distancing rules and shutdowns interfere with normal operations.

Parents Create COVID-Screening App for Schools

Dr. Brian Benson, a family physician and his wife, Kaley Benson developed a symptom-screening software for schools called Cleared4School.

"ViralBarrier" from Precise Tooling Solutions is intended specifically for K-12 and higher education use.

"Viral Barrier" Provides Physical Distancing Shield

"ViralBarrier" from Precise Tooling Solutions is intended specifically for K-12 and higher education use.

Reopening Schools

Rural Wisconsin Districts Seek Early School Start

Rural school districts in Wisconsin have asked the state to begin school earlier than usual citing concerns that the pandemic has interfered with student progress.

LA and San Diego Schools to Hold Online-Only Classes in The Fall

Los Angeles Unified School District and San Diego Unified School District announced they will not reopen for in-person classes next month due to increasing COVID-19 cases.

Reopening

Texas Education Agency Issues Guidelines for Reopening Schools

School districts must offer daily on-campus instruction for all students who wishes to attend, but any parent may request for their child to receive virtual instruction from any school that offers such instruction.

Reopening

Texas A&M Converting Sports Venues, Other Facilities into Class Spaces

Texas A&M said it would convert non-traditional spaces into classrooms for the fall semester, which starts on Aug. 19.

Examples of various signage for schools. Illustrations By Chelsea Lott, Graphic Designer (PBK)

Reopening Schools

Signs of The Times: Utilizing Graphics to Safely Transition Back to School

Overall, signage provides a cost-effective and direct solution to the question, “How does the coronavirus change our schools?” Signage plays a role in helping people feel comfortable in their environments and understanding what is expected of them in certain spaces.

Reopening Schools

Utah Gov. Approves Board of Education Requirements for Reopening Schools

Gov. Gary Herbert approved the Utah State Board of Education’s requirements and recommendations for reopening schools in the state. As per the requirements, all Utah public schools must have reopening plans in place and posted online by August 1.

Classroom with a variety of movable furniture and seats.

Furniture and Classroom Spaces

Versatility Is a Critical Design Element for Modern Learning Spaces — And COVID Reinforces This Idea

Even before COVID-19 forced K-12 leaders to rethink the design of school spaces, versatility was an important design element for classrooms and other instructional environments. Once life returns to normal, versatility will continue to be a critical design element.

Austin Community College, Elgin Campus. Photo by Mark Menjivar.

Planning and Design

Design Considerations for Supporting Student Resiliency

How can higher education institutions incorporate student success in their resilience planning process as they consider future impacts on campuses? And how can design professionals use their knowledge and skills to support this effort?

Reopening

Wisconsin’s Education Agency Issues Guidance for Reopening Schools

The Department of Public Instruction recommends smaller class sizes, alternating school-day schedules, and providing mental health support for students and staff.

A woman student wearing a face mask looks at her phone while a few feet away a male student wearing a face mask looks at a book.

Reopening

Q&A with a Facility Services Expert: Protocols for Reopening Colleges and Universities

As colleges and universities make plans to reopen facilities in the fall, higher ed decision makers must consider a variety of issues while COVID-19 continues to spread in communities across the country. A facility services expert shares strategies and protocols used to ensure a healthy environment for students, faculty and staff.

Reopening

Dallas ISD Considering In-Person, Virtual, Hybrid Instruction Options

Dallas ISD is waiting on direction from the state and haven’t solidified plans, yet. In the meantime, the district has created a first draft of safety and security guidelines for campus reentry, along with three different potential instructional models.

Classroom with agile furniture spaced at six feet apart.

Safely Reopening

How to Support Active Learning During a Pandemic

The design of the learning space will play a critical role in enabling active learning to occur in a responsible manner.

Elementary student taking notes and watching his teacher on an open laptop screen.

Technology

With E-Learning, School Districts Are Building the Foundation for Better Learning Outcomes

When the pandemic subsides, districts that haven’t already will likely take a closer look at e-learning and the skills and solutions that make it possible.

Child working on homework.

How to Overcome the "COVID Slide"

The COVID slide could exacerbate existing achievement gaps if K-12 leaders don’t take action. Here are four strategies that can help solve this challenge.

Reopening

College Presidents Say a Fall Opening Is Likely, According to Survey

Three-hundred and ten presidents responded to the survey on topics such as “their current plans for the fall, including actions they may require to consider reopening campus, the impact of the pandemic on future revenue, and the projected impact on fall enrollment numbers.”

Online Learning

Florida School District Provides Free Online Kindergarten-Readiness Program

About 500 Pre-K students at Escambia County School District will have access to a free online summer education program designed to help children make up for lost learning due to the coronavirus.

Nurse taking the temperature of a student. Both are wearing face masks.

Reopening Schools

How School Nurses Are Critical in Back-to-School Planning Amid COVID-19

School nurses bring a broad set of skills and experience in the monitoring of student and staff wellness, and they’re a critical resource as K-12 leaders plan to reopen schools amid a global pandemic.