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


Social distancing markers on school hallway.

Cleaning/Maintenance

Studying Up: Preparing for Flu Season

This year, because of the COVID-19 pandemic, reducing the spread of respiratory illnesses like the flu is more important than ever.

Outdoor learning pavilion at Linden Waldorf School in Nashville, TN.

Classroom Spaces

With New Open-Air Classrooms, Nashville Private School Moves Learning Outdoors

With a curriculum centered on connection to nature and environmental stewardship, Linden Waldorf School's vision for the pavilions were to move all classes completely outdoors where students get to be in nature throughout the whole school day.

Construction

Research: Construction Workers 5x More Likely to Enter Hospital with COVID-19

Construction workers are five times more likely to be hospitalized with COVID-19 than other kinds of workers.

CIRI Webinar Series Graphic

Cleaning

CIRI To Host Webinar Series Focused on Cleaning and Indoor Virus Transmission

The Cleaning Industry Research Institute (CIRI) will host a three-part webinar series called “COVID-19: The Second Wave,” beginning Thursday, Nov. 12.

Student washing hands with touchless faucet.

Cleaning

How to Improve Infection Control and Handwashing in School Restrooms

How do you create a hygienic and safe environment equipped to handle everyday usage and increased handwashing activity by students, faculty, administration and staff? And, how do you improve the restroom experience to make it more appealing to its users?

The university reported that stage lighting will resemble that of a café. Photo by David Kadlubowski, GCU News Bureau

Spaces

Grand Canyon U Students Help Build COVID-safe Outdoor Theatre

Faculty, staff and students at Grand Canyon University's College of Fine Arts and Production have constructed an outdoor theatre for use this play season, which addresses COVID-19 restrictions while still allowing students (and their audiences) to enjoy live productions.

Custodial worker using an autovac. Courtesy of Kaivac.

Cleaning

Proper Mop Care and Other Floor-Cleaning Systems Amid COVID-19

Floors are too often overlooked when it comes to fighting the spread of infection. For many years, many hospital administrators did not even believe it was necessary to disinfect floors. Now we know better. Floors, as well as the tools used to clean floors, deserve close attention when it comes to minimizing the spread of coronavirus.  

COVID-19

COVID-19 Cases Spread on Campus Due to Housing Settings and Social Gatherings, CDC Reports

Two new reports by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention conclude that COVID-19 is spreading on college campuses due to congregate housing, the increase of social gatherings, and disregard for mask wearing.  

As it moves throughout the room, the cbot sprays a cleaning agent that, according to the company, is effective against SARS CoV-2, the novel coronavirus that generates COVID-19, as well as other pathogens.

Cleaning

Cleaning Robot Pitched for Classrooms

Imagine a Roomba with a plastic pillar on top, roaming through a room dispensing disinfectant onto chairs, table-tops and other surfaces.

Maintenance of a building

HVAC

4 Ways Schools Can Improve Indoor Air Quality to Reduce COVID-19 Transmission

A building’s HVAC technology can help decrease the transmission rate or mitigate the risk of exposure. Thus, schools must consider their HVAC system as part of their overall COVID-19 mitigation strategy, in addition to social distancing, cleaning, screening, signage and operational practices.



Flexible furniture to accommodate social distancing in a media center.

Media Centers

5 Ways to Redesign a Media Center During COVID-19

If the global pandemic sidelined your plans for creating a very inviting, collaborative, nurturing media center space, get your vision back on track with these five success tips.

Northwestern Athletics Add Filtration Systems

As part of a phased ramp-up in its return to full operations, Northwestern University Athletics and Recreation has installed filtration systems in the locker and weight rooms and other high-traffic spaces in its athletic facilities.

Software

School Communication System Adds Contact Tracing Features

SchoolStatus, which produces a mass notification and communication software-as-a-service platform for schools, has added functionality to enable contact tracing reporting and tracking.

Reopening

Residence Hall Staff and Grad Students at U of Michigan On Strike

Residence hall staff and graduate students at the University of Michigan are on strike due to lack of coronavirus health protections on campus. The grad students and residence hall staff began separate strikes on the same day, Sept. 8.  

Reopening

Bradley U Requires All Students to Quarantine for Two Weeks

Bradley University is requiring the entire student body to quarantine for two weeks because of a spike in COVID-19 on campus, officials announced this week. The temporary quarantine is in effect until Sept. 23.

Schools In Focus podcast logo and Belinda Oakley, CEO of Chartwells K12, and Seth Ferriell, CEO of SSC Services for Education.

Podcast

Schools In Focus: Food Service During a Pandemic

In this episode of Schools In Focus podcast, I speak to Belinda Oakley, CEO of Chartwells K12 and Seth Ferriell, CEO of SSC Services for Education, about school food service during a pandemic.

Reopening

NYC Teachers and Principals Pressure Mayor de Blasio to Delay School Reopening

New York City public schools are set to reopen on Sept. 10. However, the city’s teachers, principals, and staff say schools are unprepared to reopen and are pressuring Mayor Bill de Blasio to delay the start of in-person instruction by several weeks.

Aerial photo of a building

HVAC

Using AI to Ensure Healthy Air In School Facilities

AI can change its instructions to your HVAC equipment based on the number of students in a room, the time of day, changes in weather throughout the day, and more, all while ensuring a comfortable environment for your building occupants.

AI Welcome Center automatically turns on when a person faces it. Then it performs a quick temperature measure with laser-sensing technology and checks for face masks using "vision AI."

Products

"Welcome Center" Automates Health, Mask Check-in

A company that produces technology for the food industry has developed a "welcome center" that schools can use to automate student and staff check-in.

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.