Key Terms Health and Safety Terms for Hybrid Learning:
ASHRAE: The West Linn-Wilsonville School District, like school districts across Oregon and the country, use ASHRAE guidelines for ventilation in school buildings. ASHRAE is the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers, serving as the world’s leading expert on ventilation.
MERV: Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value, or MERV, is the standard unit for measurement of ventilation filters. MERV values vary on a scale of 1-16. The higher the MERV value, the more efficient the filter will be in trapping airborne particles.
HEPA Filter: HEPA stands for High Efficiency Particulate Air. HEPA Filters are more efficient than MERV 16 filters.
Protexus Electrostatic Sprayers: A portable handheld electrostatic sprayer used to quickly and efficiently disinfect all surfaces in a building. Protexus Electrostatic Sprayers disinfect surfaces with electrically charged particles for even and complete disinfecting coverage. Electrostatic coverage is preferable due to the uniformity in application and the quickness with which it dries to surfaces.
Evaclean PURTABS Disinfection Tablets: EPA registered tablets that dissolve quickly in water to form a sanitizing solution that is NSF D2 certified safe.
Frequently Asked Questions regarding school building health and safety
Q: What is the district’s plan for ventilation in schools?
According to ASHRAE, proper ventilation for prevention of COVID-19 particles requires filters with a rating of MERV 13 or higher. All classrooms in the West Linn-Wilsonville School District have ventilation filters that exceed the MERV 13 rating, with the exception of some select classrooms in the district’s oldest schools. Those classrooms have been equipped with HEPA Filters, which are more efficient than MERV 16 filters.
To ensure adequate air flow and ventilation in classrooms, outside air intake has been adjusted to maximize the amount of outside air. Currently, systems are set at 50% outside air, which is adequate to achieve four air changes per hour, more than recommended by ASHRAE.
Ventilation is more difficult in large, open spaces such as gymnasiums. In those areas, the district has increased outside air intake as much as outside temperatures will allow. This is in alignment with ASHRAE and Ready Schools, Safe Learners recommendations.
Q: What is the process for the cleaning of school buildings?
All areas of each school building will be disinfected after every school day using Protexus Electrostatic Sprayers and Evaclean Purtabs Disinfection Tablet cleaning solutions. This process ensures that all surfaces in the school are cleaned. Disinfectant is also available in every classroom and building area for regular sanitization of high-touch surfaces during the course of the school day. This includes things such as door knobs, light switches, tables, etc.
Q: How frequently will areas of the building be cleaned?
Classrooms: Every classroom will be disinfected every night. Additional cleaning will occur throughout the day as needed, such as disinfecting high-touch areas.
Bathrooms: Restrooms will be cleaned every hour. This is done using Protexus Electrostatic Sprayers, which dries and allows for re-entry in less than 10 minutes. The district uses an electrostatic application instead of a fogger or alternative method due to the difference in re-entry time.
Common Spaces: All tables, horizontal surfaces, door knobs, light switches, and other high-touch areas will be disinfected every single night.
Q: What type of cleaning products does the district use in buildings?
The District uses three different models of Protexus Electrostatic Sprayers. The District uses Evaclean PURTABS Disinfection Tablets as its primary disinfectant solution, which is hospital grade. For high-touch surfaces disinfecting that takes place during the school day, the District also uses the Solsta 764 Quaternary disinfectant from WAXIE.
Q: Will students be able to access drinking fountains?
All water fountains and bubblers have been turned off in all areas of all schools. Parents are encouraged to send water bottles with students that can be filled at bottle stations and classroom sinks.
Q: Will there be areas for my student to regularly wash their hands?
Every school will have hand sanitizer and/or hand washing stations strategically placed throughout the building for students and staff to use throughout the school day.
Q: How will playground equipment be used and does it need to be regularly disinfected?
Disinfection of outdoor playground equipment is not required or recommended by CDC.
Q: How will students eat lunch?
Lunch will be provided free of charge to all students who request it during the school day. The District will use the current lunch program model for Hybrid Learning with the addition of a hot item. Nutrition Services Staff, following all proper health and safety protocols, will deliver food to each classroom. Food will be placed on a table outside the classroom door. Students will then be instructed to retrieve their lunch and return to the classroom to eat. There will be no face-to-face interaction with nutrition staff during this process
Q: What precautions are in place for students who will ride the bus?
Bus windows will be open 3 inches, weather permitting, to increase air circulation during transportation. Face coverings will be required for drivers and students at all times. First Student will follow all CDC guidelines for student transportation.
Q: Are students required to wear face coverings? What will PPE look like for staff?
Students are required to wear face coverings unless there is a medical exception. Face coverings will be provided to students who need one. The District encourages families to practice wearing face coverings at home so that students feel comfortable doing so while at school.
All staff are also required to wear face coverings, and certain staff will wear additional Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). This includes school nurses and medical assistants.
Q: What if a student displays symptoms during the school day?
Any student who begins displaying symptoms of COVID-19 will be escorted to their school’s Extra Care Room where a school nurse or health assistant will conduct the screening process. Parent-Guardians will be contacted if any further action is needed. Students displaying symptoms will likely need to be picked up by a parent-guardian to go home and quarantine. Extra Care Rooms are cleaned as needed. Please ensure that your contact information is up to date.
Q: What will arrival and dismissal look like for students?
Arrival and Dismissal procedures will vary at every school based on building layout and schedule. Your school will provide a detailed outline for these important procedures before your transition to Hybrid Learning.
Q: How will foot traffic be monitored during passing times?
Signage is in place to appropriately direct students for proper navigation through buildings. This will minimize any contact between different cohorts so that the District can maintain accurate Contact Tracing.
Q: Will there still be safety drills conducted at school?
Yes, all cohorts will conduct all required drills such as Fire Drills and Lockout Drills at various points of the school year.
Q: My student might be displaying some symptoms of illness. How do I know if I can send them to school today?
Parent-guardians are expected to screen their students for signs and symptoms of COVID-19 before sending them to school every day. Please refer to this online set of instructions to think through when contemplating whether or not you can send your student to school.
Families can also learn more about the screening process by watching this video resource.
Q: Can families or staff travel during spring break?
The West Linn-Wilsonville School District recommends that both staff and families follow current Oregon Health Authority travel recommendations. As of February 24, OHA recommends people stay home or in their region and avoid non-essential travel to other states or countries. People arriving in Oregon from other states or countries for non-essential travel, including returning Oregon residents, should (but are not required to) practice self-quarantine for 14 days after arrival and limit interactions to people in their household. These recommendations do not apply to individuals who cross state or country borders for essential travel. Current OHA Travel Guidance can be found on the Oregon Health Authority website.