Healthy Indoors Magazine - USA Edition

HI July 2020

Healthy Indoors Magazine

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Page 18 of 58

Healthy Indoors | 19 S tudents in Andover, Mass., barely closed their lap- tops on the 2019/2020 school year when parent Jes- sica O'Neill posted a message on a local Facebook group. "Does anyone know a teacher I can hire to teach my children and my friends' children in the safety of my home?" she asked. More than 100 people responded to the post in an hour. Not with names of teachers to hire but asking O'Neill if their children could also be taught in her home. Major media outlets such as the Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, and Bloomberg News have all recently called these phenome- na "micro-schools" or "school pods/cohorts." Different than home schooling, parents nationwide are now looking to hire retired or current K-12 teachers and/or tutors to use the local school district's expected online curriculum to educate their children. But the key phrase that caught people's attention in O'Neill's post was "safety of my home." "I don't even know what a safe school environment looks like, never mind in a pandemic," O'Neill said. She's not alone. The shear volume of information and guidance on what re-opened schools should look like from a health and safety per- spective is an every-day, every-hour story. In order for parents to send their children to school, they must believe schools will not only be safe spaces for their children and teachers but going back to school build- ings won't bring back the COVID-19 virus into their homes. In CDC re-opening guidance for schools, normal routine clean- ing with soap and water will decrease how much of the virus is on surfaces and objects. Disinfection using EPA-approved products for COVID-19 can also help reduce risk. It's expected that teachers and staff will have to frequently clean surfaces in the classroom throughout the day.

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