Securing a Safe Campus

The Northwest School facilities department has been hard at work prepping our campus for potential in-person classes in the fall. Director of Facilities Tony Kaufmann is utilizing the Center for Disease Control’s Decision Tree of Schools as a key guideline for the reopening process in conjunction with Governor Jay Inslee’s Safe Start Phased Re-Opening Plan. They serve as fact-based, objective resources devised by subject-matter experts.

Tony and his facilities team have secured the necessary supplies for cleaning, signage, and handwashing so the campus is safe for students and faculty. These include touch-free soap, hand sanitizer, and paper towel dispensers, all of which helps reduce the number of high-touch surface areas the custodial team need to disinfect. Public health and state resources have supplied signage to help direct the flow of traffic and communicate the importance of hand washing, distancing, masks, etc.

In addition, the summer provided the time to complete major projects in the main school building.

“We upgraded the HVAC system with new air handler units, which will provide better filtered air to spaces in our facilities,” says Tony. “In addition, because wood is a more porous surface and therefore more difficult to clean, we refinished the wood floors and applied a new sealant.”

To determine the campus capacity, the facilities team worked with math teachers to measure and layout a safe seating plan for students in the classrooms.

The Northwest School is also hiring a health coordinator who will provide direct care for students. This person will establish and maintain systems that ensure the ongoing health and safety of the school community.