How to Be Safe when Kids Return to School During COVID-19

If you’re clutching your stress toys, you’re not alone. This month, students K through 12 are being shoved back through the open doors of questionably sanitized schools despite the pleadings of the greater public. On the one hand, socializing, real time interaction with teachers, and increased access to school resources are highly necessary for children to learn at the best of their ability. On the other hand, there is no stopping a kindergartener from sticking everything in their mouth, touching it all, and exchanging masks because ‘sharing.’

Winter is coming. And so is school.

If you’re clutching your stress toys, you’re not alone. This month, students K through 12 are being shoved back through the open doors of questionably sanitized schools despite the pleadings of the greater public. On the one hand, socializing, real time interaction with teachers, and increased access to school resources are highly necessary for children to learn at the best of their ability. On the other hand, there is no stopping a kindergartener from sticking everything in their mouth, touching it all, and exchanging masks because ‘sharing.’

Winter is coming. And so is school.

What’s Your County?

You might be lucky – some schools are trying to accept this new world and put their classes entirely online. Find out what county your property is in and go from there. If the local schools are entirely online, then as a property manager you should have fewer concerns.  Most likely, your residents’ children go to a school within their Independent School District (ISD).

teacher helping young student
teacher helping young student

What’s Your County?

You might be lucky – some schools are trying to accept this new world and put their classes entirely online. Find out what county your property is in and go from there. If the local schools are entirely online, then as a property manager you should have fewer concerns.  Most likely, your residents’ children go to a school within their Independent School District (ISD).

Some schools may be choosing to do both, and allowing some children to virtually attend and others not, or some days are virtual and some in person, etc. Other schools may be entirely in person, and that’s where the concern may lie.

Some schools may be choosing to do both, and allowing some children to virtually attend and others not, or some days are virtual and some in person, etc. Other schools may be entirely in person, and that’s where the concern may lie.

What Precautions Are There?

You may be wondering, is this even your concern? Is this your business, your beeswax to mind? Sort of. In just one week of in-person learning, hundreds upon hundreds of students had to return to quarantine in just 16 schools in Cherokee County, Georgia. Naturally, it is incredibly hard, if not entirely impossible, to socially distance in a limited classroom. Aside from niche and expensive private schools, the classroom tends to be overcrowded and rowdy, with all of the politics that the public-school system is involved in.

Without implying that all children are dirty, it can at least be assumed that they did not bathe in hand sanitizer when hopping off the bus. Grade schoolers are 100% not your responsibility, whether it’s what they do in school or the more peaceful activities they may get up to in the confines of their homes. The habitability and safety of the hallways, play areas, and more, however is your beeswax and your literal business.

Consider leaving the entry door open from 3 to 5 pm.

What Precautions Are There?

You may be wondering, is this even your concern? Is this your business, your beeswax to mind? Sort of. In just one week of in-person learning, hundreds upon hundreds of students had to return to quarantine in just 16 schools in Cherokee County, Georgia. Naturally, it is incredibly hard, if not entirely impossible, to socially distance in a limited classroom. Aside from niche and expensive private schools, the classroom tends to be overcrowded and rowdy, with all of the politics that the public-school system is involved in.

Without implying that all children are dirty, it can at least be assumed that they did not bathe in hand sanitizer when hopping off the bus. Grade schoolers are 100% not your responsibility, whether it’s what they do in school or the more peaceful activities they may get up to in the confines of their homes. The habitability and safety of the hallways, play areas, and more, however is your beeswax and your literal business.

Depending on when the local schools get out and their bus schedules, having the doors open reduces the chance that less-than-sparkling hands will actually touch the handle. If you have automatic doors, this worry is taken care of already. For those that don’t, it will reduce the cost (and time) of constantly wiping down one of the more notoriously dirty surfaces in public areas.

Consider leaving the entry door open from 3 to 5 pm.

Depending on when the local schools get out and their bus schedules, having the doors open reduces the chance that less-than-sparkling hands will actually touch the handle. If you have automatic doors, this worry is taken care of already. For those that don’t, it will reduce the cost (and time) of constantly wiping down one of the more notoriously dirty surfaces in public areas.

Have hand sanitizing stations and mask requirements for on-site playgrounds.

Though recess at school may help with energy levels, some tykes still need an extra round on the swing set. Luckily, the CDC does have guidelines for these situations! Something simple like a garden hose and some soap is great for prior cleaning before moving on to more precise, COVID-19 required measures. No property manager can be expected to keep a 24/7 eye on the playground, ready to pounce with the bleach before a new kid runs along. If you keep your on-site playgrounds available, what you can do is put up proper signage to remind all to wear a mask and keep required distances, as well as having a sanitization station with wipes and hand sanitizer available.

Have hand sanitizing stations and mask requirements for on-site playgrounds.

Though recess at school may help with energy levels, some tykes still need an extra round on the swing set. Luckily, the CDC does have guidelines for these situations! Something simple like a garden hose and some soap is great for prior cleaning before moving on to more precise, COVID-19 required measures. No property manager can be expected to keep a 24/7 eye on the playground, ready to pounce with the bleach before a new kid runs along. If you keep your on-site playgrounds available, what you can do is put up proper signage to remind all to wear a mask and keep required distances, as well as having a sanitization station with wipes and hand sanitizer available.

Be understanding with internet slowdowns.

If you’re one of the locations that offer included  Wi-Fi in the public areas such as lounge areas or within utilities, you may need to be prepared for a drag or massive uptick in usage. Attending virtual school requires an internet connection, something not every child can depend on having a private network for. That would mean using the local free spots. When the service is too slow to use or hits a data limit, that means they have to return to in person school. Wi-Fi maintenance isn’t exactly in the job description, but you may still get complaints if someone is trying to hotspot from the laundry room so their kid can go to school.

hour glass on a laptop
hour glass on a laptop

Be understanding with internet slowdowns.

If you’re one of the locations that offer included  Wi-Fi in the public areas such as lounge areas or within utilities, you may need to be prepared for a drag or massive uptick in usage. Attending virtual school requires an internet connection, something not every child can depend on having a private network for. That would mean using the local free spots. When the service is too slow to use or hits a data limit, that means they have to return to in person school. Wi-Fi maintenance isn’t exactly in the job description, but you may still get complaints if someone is trying to hotspot from the laundry room so their kid can go to school.

Wipe down the elevator buttons regularly.

There’s a good chance you were already doing this! If that’s true, then your residents thank you. You might be one of the many who started doing this around February or March then stopped in June. If so, please resume. At the very least, during that heading to school, returning from school set of hours, it’s a good idea to clean up the elevator more frequently than you were before.

Are you ready to face Let us know in the comments!

Wipe down the elevator buttons regularly.

There’s a good chance you were already doing this! If that’s true, then your residents thank you. You might be one of the many who started doing this around February or March then stopped in June. If so, please resume. At the very least, during that heading to school, returning from school set of hours, it’s a good idea to clean up the elevator more frequently than you were before.

Are you ready to face Let us know in the comments!

Spread the word. Share this post!

Nicole Seidner

Cole Seidner is a copywriter here at the CIC Blog. She holds a degree in Writing from Savannah College of Art and Design with a focus in creative nonfiction. Her free time is spent taking pictures of her dogs or reading deep dive analysis on movies that she hasn’t seen.

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