High school students stand in the library

Contributed By Kaivac

Students are returning to Williston Northampton School, a college-preparatory school located in Easthampton, Massachusetts. To ensure all students, teachers and staff are safe during the coronavirus pandemic, the school has developed an extensive list of health and safety precautions.  For instance, all students, teachers and staff must wear masks and have multiple masks handy when on campus. Additional steps being taken, according to the school's Director of Communications, Ann Hallock, include the following:

- Testing

All students are required to have two negative COVID-19 tests before they can return to the classroom.

"Students who do not have two negative tests may not start the school year on campus and must start the school year remotely," Hallock said.

If students have not fulfilled this obligation, they can be tested when they arrive at the school. If results prove negative, they still must self-quarantine for up to five days and retake the test.  If the second test is negative, they will be allowed to attend classes on campus.

- Closed campus

For the first three weeks of school, the campus was closed to all visitors. Further, students who leave the campus must stay within specific boundaries of the school. Every three weeks, these boundaries will be re-evaluated to determine "whether they will [be] loosened, tightened, or stay the course," according to Hallock. "Further, any student [found] violating these policies will be asked to begin remote learning from home."

- Physical alterations

The school has made several changes to campus facilities. For instance, there are now more single dorm rooms, desks and seating areas in classrooms and lecture rooms have been expanded, allowing more space between students, advanced air purification systems have been installed, and plexiglass dividers are now in place at all counters. 

- Cleaning

The school has increased the amount of cleaning that will be performed. And, according to Hallock, the school has recently invested in new cleaning equipment "designed to remove bacteria and germs."

As more students return to the school, all dorm bathrooms will be cleaned three times a day using Kaivac No-Touch Cleaning systems.  Further, all other campus bathrooms will be cleaned two times a day and all gym locker rooms will be cleaned each day, again using the Kaivac No-Touch Cleaning systems. 

In the past, Kaivac No-Touch Cleaning systems were selected because they are a faster and more thorough way to clean. However, with COVID-19, facilities such as Williston Northampton School, select them because they also help stop the spread of infection, something all schools and all facilities need right now.