The only certainty in education during the pandemic has been uncertainty. Some schools remain closed, others are educating in person and still others have embraced a hybrid model to accommodate students both onsite and at home.
For those with students on site, educators and administrators know that the same old ways of doing things won’t work in a pandemic environment. Changes in both procedures and the physical environment, including administrative offices, have been necessary.
For teachers, principals and other administrators readying for a return to the classroom, here’s a look at some components of a safer educational space.
Flexibility: We’ve written many times here about the various benefits of flexible education spaces during normal times, and the ability to adapt has become even more important during COVID-19. Not only does it make sense to have different configurations to support different types of learning, having flexibility makes it easier to accommodate physical distancing.
Sanitizer stations: Clean, sanitized hands are the goal under any circumstances, and never more than now. Touchless sanitizer stations located prominently throughout a school will help achieve that goal.
Desk partitions: We’re seeing a lot of demand now for divider partitions for desks and tables. These are typically transparent to allow eye contact and communication when collaborating on projects, but provide a physical barrier against sneezes and other droplet transmission.
Cubicle walls: For settings that already have cubicles, wall heights are increasing for those same reasons. Many cubicle systems can be retrofitted with higher walls for greater safety in multi-person spaces.
Countertop sneeze guards: From reception to teachers’ desks to cafeteria settings, sneeze guards are also in high demand. Like desk partitions, they’re transparent and offer a physical barrier to reduce the risk of transmission.
With proper planning and design modifications, classrooms can be a safer space for students and educators alike.
Questions about furniture or design for education? Contact Douron.