HOLMDEL, NJ - Coming in just under the one-year anniversary of the COVID-19 pandemic, Holmdel schools are back to the new normal. Monday will have all students back to five day, full day in person education - with lunch. Parents will still have the option for remote. However, with full days in the middle and high schools as well as elementary, its expected that the students will dive back in to see their friends and teachers.

Lunch, the one item that vexes many schools, is being solved with utilization of additional space and adding plexiglass where needed, including where six feet distancing is not possible. Many schools use six feet as the rule when it is simply a guide. 

Based on the timelines, it appears that the main reason they are open is simple, they planned ahead. According to prior board discussions, the planning began back in April of 2020 and has previously been reported at TAPinto.

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According to reports from the schools, there were a number of measure that were initiated at a cost of approximately 1.3 million. The district updated various policies and procedures, and has made preparations to cover considerations including, but not limited to scheduling, athletics, and food services at each school. Holmdel schools provided what may essentially serve as a blueprint for other schools and parents who are at their wits end wondering when their children will be back in school for a full day, with lunch and all week.

The primary measures addressed were

● Implementing UV-C lighting for disinfecting after hours

● Installing bipolarionization filtration units in HVAC systems

● Installing site signage and parking limitations

● Installing signage at school entries

● Installing thermal temperature detection devices at entries

● Installing physical barriers (such as sneeze guards) at vestibules, in main offices and in nurse offices

● Installing antimicrobial coatings on commonly used surfaces, such as doorknobs, push bars, railings,bathroom fixtures and playground equipment

● Installing directional decals on floors to separate hallways and indicate directions of travel for students, teachers and visitors

● Installing hand sanitizer dispensers in each classroom and key locations

● Adjusting the spacing of classroom and nurse office furniture for physical distancing

● Maintaining new, enhanced cleaning procedures

● Installing urinal partitions in men’s and boy’s restrooms

● Installing automatic paper towel and soap dispensers

● Providing the necessary and appropriate PPE

● Retro-commissioning the District HVAC systems

“We’re doing everything we can to ensure the safety of our students, faculty and staff,” says Dr. Lee Seitz, Interim Superintendent of Schools said at the time. “It is our hope that the strategies we’re taking will reduce the risks of exposure and transmission of COVID-19. The district will continue to provide updates and information as they become available.”