NORTHBROOK, Ill.—July 26, 2020—In this edition of Straight Talk with Jeff Cross, Sara Porter, vice president of external affairs for the Healthy Schools Campaign, discusses the challenges schools face as they confront reopening in the midst of COVID-19. The Healthy Schools Campaign is an organization that focuses on all aspects of creating a healthy and safe school environment for kids, including nutrition, physical activity, cleaning programs, and more. One of their programs is the Healthy Green Schools and Colleges Program, which, in partnership with Green Seal, works to develop a network of school administrators that are committed to continually examining and improving their cleaning programs. This program is particularly involved in providing resources and facilitating discussions around school reopening plans.
The Healthy Schools Campaign has hosted two webinar series since the start of the pandemic, during which they heard many administrators’ top concerns about school reopening this fall. Porter explains that school officials are seeking more information about the best tools, products, and processes for cleaning and disinfection, they are concerned about obtaining PPE and other supplies, and they are working through the logistics of how to implement the CDC guidelines—all with shrinking budgets.
“We of course all want kids back in school but I think that’s going to end up looking very different this school year, and I think also it will continue to change throughout the school year,” Porter said. “Whatever happens in September is not necessarily going to be what’s still in play in January and beyond.” Porter explains it is possible that some schools might open and then need to close again in a few weeks or months. Other schools are choosing to delay opening to avoid this potential roller coaster, and most of these plans are still in flux as the school year approaches and the situation changes. “There isn’t one solution that works for every single school district.”
When it comes to the question of students wearing masks, Porter says that as a mom of three young kids, she believes that children can adapt to new routines if the adults are setting a positive tone about what needs to be done and why it’s important. Parents can help by setting those expectations for their kids now and providing opportunities to practice wearing masks before school starts.
For more information about Healthy Schools Campaign initiatives and resources for school reopening, watch the complete episode of Straight Talk with Jeff Cross below, and find more Straight Talk episodes on cleanfax.com. Take part in the engaging online conversations on industry topics by joining the Straight Talk Facebook group today.