Toolkit Offers Facility Ideas for Safe School Reopening
- By Dian Schaffhauser
you can run a COVID-19 temperature check every 20 seconds, three
students can enter a lone school building entrance every minute. For
a school with 100 students, that's a 30- to 35-minute process; for a
school with 500 students, it would take nearly three hours. In those
scenarios, how would the students congregate for their health checks,
and how many could the sidewalk by the entryway accommodate if
students stood six-feet apart?
are the kinds of issues raised in version 1 of a new report
developed by Brooklyn
Laboratory Charter Schools.
LAB Back to School Facilities Tool Kit"
offers ideas for developing a learning environment that highlights
safety, health and well-being of everybody in the school community.
LAB is a school that primarily serves low-income students, with
programs that emphasize more time in school; college preparation; a
STEM focus; intensive tutoring; frequent opportunities for enrichment
and "passion-driven" learning; and partnerships with local
businesses, colleges and research centers.
report was developed with input from a number of design and urban
planning organizations, all of whom envisioned how to get people into
the facility and help them move around without a lot of physical
proximity. Contributors included PSF
The ideas follow guidelines for schools already published by the
for Disease Control and Prevention
and the American
Federation of Teachers.
the details relate specifically to Brooklyn LAB, the organization has
intended the report to be useful to any other school. Content covers
"mapping a safe journey from home to school" and "upgrading
the school" to accommodate physical distancing through remapping
of classrooms, breakout rooms and common spaces.
organization has also developed an early version of an instructional
program scheduling map,
to help schools sort out staff scheduling, class configurations and
planning considerations. That project had its own set of
collaborators, which included Dezudio,
National Center for Special Education in Charter Schools (NCSECS),
and the Mary
Lou Fulton Teachers College at Arizona State University.
LAB is hoping to get people engaged in focus
to provide feedback on the toolkit in coming weeks and months. And it
is seeking feedback about the contents from those who download it
facilities toolkit is openly available through
the Equity by Design website.
Dian Schaffhauser is a former senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal, Campus Technology and Spaces4Learning.