Q: What protocols does NCS follow with cleaning and disinfection?
A: NCS’s longstanding daily practice has been to wipe down high-touch surfaces throughout the school, including chairs, desktops, dining tables, switches, knobs, and handles. In March, we began using electrostatic sprayers with a chlorinated-water disinfectant solution in each room and common areas and in bus interiors after each trip. All upholstery and carpets in our buildings are steam-cleaned monthly.
We undertake frequent cleaning and disinfection around the school during the day, as well as a nightly deep cleaning. On Wednesdays, when no students are on campus, enhanced cleaning and disinfection will be performed.
Q: What role do students play in cleaning classrooms?
A: When students enter a classroom, each should use hand sanitizer and grab a single disinfecting wipe for her desk surface. At the end of class, the teacher will distribute additional wipes so that students may clean their desk and chair before departing. Finally, each student should use hand sanitizer while exiting the classroom.
Q: What sort of filtration improvements have been made to the school?
A: NCS has upgraded HVAC filters to MERV 13, the most efficient that fit our systems. Portable HEPA filter systems, which also increase ventilation and filtration in classrooms, have been added in Hearst and Whitby halls.
Q: How are classrooms different this year?
A: The introduction of social distancing requirements means that each classroom contains fewer desks than before, spaced at least 6 feet apart. Desks all face in one direction, toward the teacher and the whiteboard, and they may not be rotated or otherwise moved.
Q: I understand that hallways and classrooms have been reconfigured. How about restrooms and locker rooms?
A: We have closed off stalls and turned off sinks in restrooms so that only one may be in use at a time. There is limited access to locker rooms for clothes changes only.
Q: How would cleaning protocols change after a positive COVID-19 test result by a school member?
A: Surface cleaning and disinfection would target areas where that person was in the 48 hours before developing symptoms. Any indoor room where the person ate or drank (i.e., was without a mask) would receive special attention to surface cleaning and disinfection. The HVAC filters in these areas would need to be replaced as part of the clean-up. Classes may meet in different rooms for a brief period as well.
Q: Will I be able to meet with people inside the school buildings to discuss my child?
A: Non-essential visitors to NCS are not allowed inside, including parents and most contractors. For the moment, parents should not expect that a forgotten item may be timely delivered to their child.
Q: How often will NCS clean lockers and/or cubbies?
A: We are closing off lockers, the Middle School hook room, and Lower School cubbies. Students need to keep their possessions in backpacks, carrying them to and from school daily.