Many schools were shut down earlier this year due to the Covid-19 pandemic. With many unknown variables and the unpromising speculation of a vaccine, the main concern of reopening schools was the health and safety of students. There was, and still is, an uphill battle with parents holding back on enrollment, the need for more donors, and local government restrictions. Early educational years are crucial to the social and cognitive development of any student, and the skills learned during such formative years will serve them for the rest of their lives.
Notre Dame School of Santa Barbara was in the same boat as every school in the nation. The challenge is not simply finding and implementing effective tools that create a safe learning environment, but doing so in a way that instills confidence in students and teachers to return and excel.
The implementation of routine sanitation schedules, automated decontamination devices, and educational parameters to remind parents, faculty, and students of the safety practices that will be continuously followed.
The first step was adhering to CDC, state, and local county regulations for the reopening of schools. This includes face covering requirements, constant cleaning of high-touch areas, and proper social distancing practiced among all members of the school. Students were guided by social distancing markers placed on the floor and continuous reminders of how and when to wash their hands. In addition, the flow of student movement was controlled and self-reported daily assessments of individual health were to create an added layer of protection, the automated sanitation of air and surfaces was implemented. With various individuals and groups using classrooms, restrooms, and other indoor spaces throughout the day, it is crucial to have systems that continuously decontaminate all areas. To rid the air of harmful particles, 5 Photocatalytic Oxidation devices were installed strategically throughout the school in classrooms and restrooms. For high-touch surfaces, antimicrobial films and sprays were used to minimize the growth of viruses and bacteria.
The work does not end after installation. As Notre Dame gradually opens more and more classrooms, it is important to consistently track air and surface microbe levels, adjusting the strategy as necessary. With this in mind, we scheduled routine audits at the school to track and measure air and surface quality levels, which will ensure that cleanliness standards are always met and everyone is kept safe.
See Evaluation Report below.