Back-to-school season kicks off a nationwide transition time that we are all likely well acquainted with. As summer comes to a close, schools begin to shake off the months of inactivity by cleaning, decorating, and stocking classrooms, and students of all ages check school supply lists to ensure they are prepped for a successful year.
With the excitement of a new year comes the task of making sure that educational facilities are equipped with the necessary components for running a safe and efficient school. From ice packs to fire alarms, there are always various levels of necessary defense against all kinds of emergencies, big and small. This season, however, our schools are responsible for ensuring staff and student safety in the face of a much larger, national emergency: COVID-19.
While staying mindful of the continuing implications of the coronavirus, doctors and educators alike agree that in-person learning is generally more effective than online learning, especially for younger students and in regard to improving kids’ mental, emotional, and physical health. For these reasons, many schools will be reopening their doors this fall to reinstate in-person classes. As schools return to session, protecting those who attend is of paramount concern and is vital to helping parents feel worry-free as they send their children back to class.
Preventing the Spread of COVID-19 in Schools
There are a multitude of precautions that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends students, staff, and parents take to avoid infection, such as:
- Remaining socially distanced from others in the classroom
- Getting vaccinated, when eligible
- Wearing masks in public, regardless of vaccination status
- Being tested regularly
- Staying home if experiencing any symptoms
And, though the actions of the individual are essential to group success, it is also crucial that school buildings and administrations as a whole take steps to enforce a healthy environment.
Since there are many ways to protect against the virus, educational facilities are likely going to need to formulate a multilayered safety and protection strategy that plans for this new health concern. Luckily, Primex OneVue® solutions can help.
Primex Solutions for a Safe and Efficient Learning Environment
It has become increasingly common knowledge that COVID-19 is largely airborne — when sick people expel germs into the air by coughing or sneezing, or even breathing and talking, those around them are at risk of infection as they ingest the contaminants. This is true of not only the coronavirus but also most common illnesses like cold and flu strains. Generally, schools are a hot spot for quick virus outbreaks due to the volume and proximity of people within the building.
Additionally, studies have found that a comfortable temperature and high air quality can have a significant effect on students’ academic performance. With temperature monitoring technology in place that helps create an ideal environment, students focus less on hot or cold discomfort and more on the lesson, and they also score higher on graded work and assessments.
With help from products in the Primex OneVue Sense™ portfolio like Differential Air Pressure Sensors and Ambient Temperature and Humidity Sensors, schools can ensure that the classroom environment is as safe, controlled, and comfortable as possible, promoting higher levels of productivity and preventing the spread of infection. If there are sudden or concerning changes in room temperature or humidity, staff will receive an alert on the web-based OneVue software platform immediately so they can resolve the issue before it becomes a serious problem.
The OneVue Sense product line also features Temperature Monitoring Sensors for storage units that house sensitive items like a medicine refrigerator in the nurses office or cafeteria refrigeration and freezers containing meat and dairy products. Users can count on the quick-alert system to signal changes in unit conditions, which makes protecting vital medications and daily meals easy and automatic.
Though there may be much we don’t know about how COVID-19 precautions might affect the coming school year, there are still some components that remain standard. For example, schools still need to ensure they’re not caught off guard by an unexpected emergency, especially while primary focus is on pandemic protocol; an unexpected water leak around essential heating, ventilating, and air conditioning systems could cause substantial damage to school infrastructure, displace students, and be costly in terms of both time and money. With OneVue Sense Water Leak Detectors, facilities can count on being alerted at the first sign of danger so authorities can take swift preventive action.
Aside from preempting unexpected events, educational facilities are also responsible for ensuring that daily activity flows steadily. Synchronous time systems continue be essential to a smooth school day and require effective communication as well as a regulated schedule — all of which can be managed by Primex solutions. The OneVue Sync™ product line includes both analog and digital clocks, which enforce a unified system of time in any facility. Minimize the possibility of spontaneous gatherings and extra contact in the hallways and encourage an easy return to routine function by implementing a reliable timekeeping solution; the OneVue Sync products ensure:
- On-time class changes
- Seamless transition periods
- Precise timing during standardized testing
OneVue Notify® offers products that can help fortify both general daily communication methods as well as emergency event safety plans. For instance, bell controllers offer customizable bell scheduling to ensure regular movement between classes and can easily integrate existing bell schedules to make the transition to Primex technology easier. OneVue Notify InfoBoard™ displays allow users to send visual messages throughout the building to convey customized messages and can be used for a variety of purposes, including:
- Providing an extra layer of communication in busy school environments, like gyms, cafeterias, and bustling hallways
- Enhancing critical notification strategy during emergency situations like active shooter events or fire evacuation plans
- Sending reminders to practice safe habits, such as washing hands and wearing masks properly
- Offering accessibility to those who are hard of hearing
- Informing students of A/B day status
- Conveying current messages as soon as an event occurs, from schedule changes to emergency alert
As the end of the summer looms closer, it’s time to prepare for the coming school year. We understand that there might be some uncertainty regarding how to update safety precautions and how to support the shift to normal operation, and we’re here to help adaptation go as smoothly as possible. With OneVue, users are able to utilize continuous monitoring strategies and proactive alerts to keep the facility safe and efficient both during the school day and also when the school is empty; staff will get text, email, or phone alerts about changing conditions even when they are not in the building. When it comes to strengthening safety, efficiency, and communication within your school, Primex solutions can help.