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


Teen Who Was Suspended Over Mask Mandate Arrested on Trespassing Charges

A 16-year-old student at Laramie High School in Laramie, Wyo., was arrested and led away from her school in handcuffs on Thursday, Oct. 7. Junior Grace Smith said in an interview that she was arrested for trespassing after receiving a suspension for refusing to follow the school’s mask mandate and then refusing to leave school grounds.

Healthy Schools

East Central College HVAC Upgrade Covered by COVID Relief Funds

A $1.4 million HVAC upgrade at Missouri's East Central College, paid for by federal COVID-relief funds, is expected to mitigate the transmission of viruses in several campus buildings. The work was performed by Johnson Controls as part of its "OpenBlue" healthy buildings program.

person using calculator across from someone using a computer

How Schools Can Maximize COVID Relief Funds

ESSER and EANS funds are designed to help schools reopen quickly and safely, as well as address the months of significant learning loss by U.S. students during the COVID-19 pandemic. Only now are experts beginning to understand the full scope of learning loss brought on by a year-plus of the pandemic – and initial reports are worrying.

This article originally appeared in the Fall 2021 issue of Spaces4Learning.

Schools Reopen with Federal Dollars

This article originally appeared in the Fall 2021 issue of Spaces4Learning.

Editor's Note

The Slow Return to Normalcy

This article originally appeared in the Fall 2021 issue of Spaces4Learning.

unbrella sheilding off viruses

Keys to Comprehensive Health Awareness in Your Building

COVID-19 and many other viruses are thought to spread mainly from person to person through respiratory droplets and aerosols in the air. Studies suggest that emissions from people can span a room and be pulled into air circulation systems in just a few seconds. A strong air-monitoring and air-management strategy can make the difference between a healthy environment and one in which disease easily spreads.

This article originally appeared in the Fall 2021 issue of Spaces4Learning.

adult helping child wash their hands

It's Everyone's Role To Keep Our Schools Healthy, Safe and Open

Standard hygiene practices, like proper handwashing, are more important than ever.

This article originally appeared in the Fall 2021 issue of Spaces4Learning.

Grants

U.S. Department of Education Announces New Grant Program

The U.S. Department of Education announced this week that it is establishing a new grant program to provide funding to school districts that have been penalized for implementing safety measures against COVID-19.

COVID-19 and Schools

Back to School: 3 Key Risks Worth Evaluating

Across the country, K–12 school administrators, teachers and staff are preparing to return to school in the midst of continued uncertainty. As COVID-19 continues to evolve, conflicting positions on mask mandates and safety requirements have spilled out of school board and PTA meetings into the national discourse, complicating decision-making at every level. The ongoing pandemic has created new risks, and elevated others — all of which pose challenges to K–12 operations.

Schools In Focus: Talking Campus Security with Mitch McKinley

Podcast

Schools In Focus: The Future of the Physical Campus

This episode’s guest is Benjamin Strain, Higher Education Design Leader for DLR Group. He's here to discuss an ongoing DLR research initiative called "The Evolution of Campus," which involves interviews and outreach to higher education institutions to help them navigate the pandemic, return to campus, and explore new spatial and design requirements to meet the needs of faculty and students. He reveals some common themes among all three rounds of research (so far) and addresses the question on everyone's mind: "What’s the future of the physical campus?"



Health & Wellness

Survey Reveals College Students’ Mental Health Concerns

A new survey from the National Society of High School Scholars conducted among incoming and matriculating college students revealed that almost half (44.1%) anticipate dealing with mental health issues in the coming semester, either their own or those of people around them.

Healthy Schools

Students Fall Behind on “Routine-but-Critical” Vaccinations

A news release from the Learning First Alliance suggests that one in five children missed receiving routine vaccines during the pandemic.

Stimulus Funding and School Infrastructure

COVID-19 and Schools

How Stimulus Funding Can Tackle School Infrastructure Updates

As schools and universities prepare for the return of students and faculty after nearly a year of remote learning, many are faced with growing concerns around how to keep facilities safe in the post-pandemic world. This is doubly true when considering that crucial HVAC and building management systems (BMS) are often outdated and in need of replacement.

Q & A with the Editor

Smart Lockers Now and Beyond the Pandemic

Campus operations of all kinds were severely impacted by the pandemic, as were many of the habits and expectations of students, parents, faculty and staff. Some of those changes, it appears, will outlast the pandemic — including advances in the way packages are delivered and tracked on campus.

COVID-19 and Schools

CDC Recommends “Universal Indoor Masking” in Schools

In response to the spread of the Delta variant of COVID-19, the CDC once again updated its mask-wearing guidelines this week. It recommends "universal indoor masking for all teachers, staff, students, and visitors to schools."

Schools In Focus: Talking Campus Security with Mitch McKinley

Podcast

Schools In Focus: Braving the Gauntlet

As K–12 schools gear up to return to in-person learning for the coming school year, one district already has a success under its belt. The Muskego-Norway School District in Muskego, Wis., successfully went in-person, five days a week, for the entire 2020–21 academic year. Our guest today is Tony Spence, the Chief Information Officer for that district. He takes a deep dive into explaining the logistics behind pulling off such a unique feat. He explains what went into creating the district’s plan, committing to it and—most importantly—effectively communicating that plan to students, parents, staff and administrators.

Funding

Using Federal Stimulus Funds for Collaborative Learning Spaces

With the global pandemic greatly impacting the K–12 learning environment, more schools and districts are pivoting to collaborative learning spaces filled with comfortable, tech-equipped furniture that supports the future-ready learner. For funding help with these projects, districts are turning to one or more of the recently-passed federal stimulus bills.

COVID-19 and Schools

CDC: Masks Not Required for Vaccinated Teachers, Students

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) updated its guidelines for COVID-19 prevention in K–12 schools on Friday. The health organization announced that fully vaccinated teachers and students will not be required to wear masks inside school buildings.

Visioneering LRTH-DFX luminaire lighting unit featuring 365DisInFx UVA technology

Campus Amenities

Leviton Lighting Brand Launches First Unit with 365DisInFx UVA Capability

Viscor, a brand of Leviton Lighting, has announced that it is launching the Visioneering LRTH-DFX luminaire lighting unit featuring 365DisInFx UVA technology.

Campus Funds

How Academic Decision-Makers Can Utilize ESSER and HEERF Funding

Available until September 2024, money from ESSER and HEERF is intended to facilitate the safe and healthy return to in-person instruction, ensuring that schools across the nation can meet the needs of their staff and students from an education, safety, security, and wellness perspective. However, there are many questions about how the funds are distributed and how to make the most of every dollar received.

A Different Approach to Virus Mitigation

A Different Approach to Virus Mitigation

A recent study conducted by the University of Oregon evaluated sunlight's impact on dust and germs in an indoor space. According to the research, published in the journal Microbiome, rooms exposed to daylight have fewer germs and half the viable bacteria compared with dark rooms.

Schools In Focus: Talking Campus Security with Mitch McKinley

Podcast

Schools In Focus: Safe Air in Schools

Maintaining indoor air quality has gained renewed importance as K–12 students around the country prepare to return to in-person learning full time. It’s one of the timeliest, most important methods of keeping learning environments safe as the COVID pandemic winds down. And the more we learn, the more we refine and revise what we thought we knew. Our guest is Scott Huffmaster, the commercial HVAC leader for indoor air quality for North America for Trane Technologies, Inc. This episode is sponsored by Trane.

Indoor Air Quality

Indiana School Buses to Get UV Air Purification, Filtration Systems

The Indiana State School Bus Committee has approved the installation of ultraviolet light air purification systems on school buses statewide. The decision became final after the success of a trial program run in partnership with indoor air quality solutions provider Lumin-Air.

Indoor Air Quality

Back to Better: The Clean Air Blueprint for Healthy Schools

One of the most impactful and comprehensive ways these schools are earning trust as they reopen is by implementing HVAC solutions and clean air strategies. By integrating time-tested, scientifically-proven clean air strategies into existing infrastructure, school leaders can create highly connected facilities that deliver long-term resiliency, sustainability and productivity.

State of Texas Governor Seal

COVID-19 and Schools

Texas Governor Bans Mask Mandates in Public Schools

On Tuesday, May 18, Texas Governor Greg Abbott signed an executive order banning government entities in the state—including county, city, and public health authorities—from requiring face masks. The order takes effect on May 21 and carries a fine of up to $1,000. The order specified that, effective June 5, public schools are also prohibited from instituting mask mandates.

COVID-19 and Schools

Kenall’s Indigo-Clean Technology Proven to Kill SARS-CoV-2

Industrial light fixture solutions company Kenall has announced that its Indigo-Clean technology has been proven in independent lab testing to safely kill 94 percent of viruses, including SARS-CoV-2 and Influenza-A.

COVID-19 and Schools

DFW School District Will Not Offer Remote Learning in 2021-22

The Allen Independent School District in Dallas, Texas, has announced that it will not offer virtual learning opportunities for the 2021-22 academic year. Superintendent Robin Bullock sent a district-wide email on the afternoon of Tuesday, May 4, announcing the district’s plans for the upcoming year.

COVID-19 and Schools

HVAC Flaw Might Have Led to Pa. Elementary School COVID Outbreak

Late last month, eight second-grade students from a single classroom at Penn Valley Elementary School in the Lower Merion School District near Philadelphia, Pa., tested positive for coronavirus. Because of the number of students affected, staff conducted an investigation and discovered a potential cause for the spread.

man cleaning ventilation screen

HVAC & IAQ

Healthy Air Must Flow

This article originally appeared in the Spring 2021 issue of Spaces4Learning.

Editor's Note

The Light at the End of the Tunnel

This article originally appeared in the Spring 2021 issue of Spaces4Learning.

Sponsored Content

Smart Lockers Now and Beyond the Pandemic

Campus operations of all kinds were severely impacted by the pandemic, as were many of the habits and expectations of students, parents, faculty and staff. Some of those changes, it appears, will outlast the pandemic — including advances in the way packages are delivered and tracked on campus. Read this Q&A with the Editor to find out more.