As classrooms open back up to students across the country, classroom cleaning policies and procedures are coming under some serious scrutiny. Whether students are back full-time or are taking hybrid classes, meaning they’re only physically in school part-time, faculty, parents, and students are concerned about the contamination of high-traffic surfaces and areas within classrooms.
Even though we’re just about a year into “quarantine”, when Shelter in Place orders were issued and non-essential businesses, public places, and schools were initially closed, it definitely feels like forever ago. This may make it difficult to remember all the school and classroom surfaces that may come into human contact frequently, so here’s a refresher. Make sure to address these high touch and high traffic surfaces in your classroom to keep students safe:
Classroom Cleaning: Desks & Chairs
Probably the most touched and used items, and their corresponding surfaces, are both the students’ and teacher’s desks and chairs. With social distancing still in place, students shouldn’t have to worry about desks and chairs other than their own, and neither should teachers.
For students, however, desks and chairs should be wiped clean and disinfected before and after use. This may occur multiple times throughout the day depending on class schedules.
Classroom Cleaning: Doors & Door Handles
Some schools have opted to install foot handles on classroom doors. Though more difficult to open doors this way, foot handles do prevent the spread of germs and bacteria from the many hands that open and close doors.
If your classroom door doesn’t feature this, make SURE to disinfect door handles and commonly touched areas on doors before and after class, and have students apply hand sanitizer upon entrance and exit.
Classroom Cleaning: Bookshelves & Storage Surfaces
If your school has adapted to the new digital norm of schooling, then booklets, paperbacks, and hardcover textbooks may have been discontinued in use for the time being. In their place are computers and tablets. Of course, regardless of whether or not students share their digital resources (they shouldn’t), they should be disinfecting at the end of class as their computers and tablets are exposed to contaminants in the classroom.
However, this doesn’t mean that bookshelves and storage surfaces are exempt from being wiped clean and disinfected. If your school’s janitorial staff isn’t regularly cleaning these high-touch surfaces, then make it a point to do so before and after school daily.
Classroom Cleaning: Air Vent Covers
Lastly, it’s important to make sure that air vent covers are wiped and disinfected frequently. Airborne viruses easily cling to dust particles and smaller debris that travels to and from air vents, and can often get caught on the vent cover. Perhaps this is best addressed by janitorial staff before and after school.
Other than these most touched and used classroom surfaces, there will absolutely be other things and surfaces in your classroom that need to be cleaned and disinfected multiple times throughout the day, so be sure to include them in your cleaning checklist!