A Clearinghouse of Resources to Aid in Reopening Schools

Produced for school systems nationwide.

The recently released report, “A Clearing House of Resources to Aid in Reopening Schools,” is intended to assist educators nationwide in reducing the risks of COVID-19 transmission and mitigate potential outbreaks while reopening schools. The report is a compilation of suggestions from reputable sources worldwide, including the CDC, ASHRAE, EPA, Harvard School of Public Health, the UK, industry professionals, education authorities, and various state governments, all focused on helping to reopen schools safely.

Crabtree, Rohrbaugh Associates (CRA) is proud to have participated on the task force compiled by Ron Skyles, AIA, NCARB, Architectural Project Manager, Prince George’s County Public Schools (PGCPS), second largest school system in Maryland, along with Maryland State Department of Education and 30 other industry professionals assigned to the task force. CRA contributed hundreds of hours thoroughly researching and test-fitting various options that will permit administrators to make informed decisions about how to teach safely while social distancing.

Rick LeBlanc, AIA, Larry Levato, AIA, Seth Wentz, AIA and Lori Walls of CRA provided architectural planning and design expertise associated with educational specifications, design and space analysis, special education, sanitizing schools and overall compilation of the report. The document aids in developing a balance between distance learning and face to face instruction for elementary, middle and high school students.

There are eight topics in the report, each accompanied by detailed considerations for SY 2020/2021 reopening and long-term impacts; topics include:

  1. Educational specifications impact
  2. Design and space analysis
  3. Distance Learning
  4. Special Education
  5. HVAC & air purification
  6. Sanitizing schools
  7. Transportation
  8. Legal implications & ramifications

Throughout the United States, departments of education, school systems and parents are struggling with the overwhelming task of when and how to safely reopen schools amidst the Corona Virus pandemic. Released just this week, the report has already benefited school systems across the Country, as seen in a comment from an educator in Texas, “Thank you! This will be useful – we are woefully short of guidance here…,” said Tracy Ginsburg, Ed.D., CAE, Executive Director, Texas Association of School Business Officials.

CRA has had the privilege of working with the PGCPS since 2014 and is currently completing the William Wirt Middle School replacement project and the Stephen Decatur Special Education renovation/addition project, and likewise, working with PGCPS on this important document was also a rewarding project.

Please send questions to safedesign@cra-architects.com

To view the document click here.

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