Our most insightful channel to what is occurring within districts across the nation is having discussions with our over 35,000 partner schools. We recently asked them about their learning environment, current challenges, and concerns about the spring semester and the 2021/2022 school year. Here’s what nearly 200 schools across the U.S. said.
Majority of Schools Have People on Campus
With so many uncertainties about the pandemic, schools shut buildings and transitioned to remote-only learning when the virus began to impact the United States. Schools shifted their focus to supporting students and staff remotely and ensuring they have everything they need to be successful. This support required innovative thinking and dedication.
Now, about a year after COVID-19 began to impact our nation, most schools—67% of survey respondents—have reopened and have some level of in-person instruction. On-campus presence, however, is not limited to only staff and students. Over 80% of respondents allow other essential individuals on campus, including visitors, volunteers, and contractors.
Contact Tracing is a Matter of When, Not If
In the Interim Guidance for Case Investigation and Contact Tracing in K-12 Schools, the CDC explains the importance of having an efficient means to contact trace, saying, “Rapid identification of exposed individuals and the ability to efficiently and confidentially share relevant information is of utmost importance.” The faster schools can inform others they may have been exposed, the quicker we can reduce transmission.
Schools must track every visit and record the visitor’s information, including when and where they were on campus and their contact information at a minimum. It’s also imperative that schools track staff and students as they enter and leave the building. Schools need instant access to visitor logs and student and staff data to effectively and promptly contact trace should a person who visited subsequently test positive, which has happened to nearly 42% of survey respondents. Relying on handwritten, paper visitor logs makes contact tracing much more challenging than it needs to be.
Health Screenings Are a Top Priority
Keeping individuals with COVID-19 exposure risk off campus is necessary to reduce the virus’s transmission. Health screening, which over 80% of respondents stated are a top safety priority, can help schools accomplish this by screening students, staff, and visitors for exposure risk. In their K-12 operational strategies and mitigation recommendations, both the CDC and Department of Education recommend schools have students and staff check for COVID-19 symptoms at home. Visitors can complete a quick health screening their sign-in process. Any individual who is deemed an exposure risk should not be allowed on campus.
Facilitating the screening, recording the results, and determining the action (to come into the school or not) can quickly become challenging without a streamlined process.
A Streamlined Process is Critical
The survey results overwhelmingly show that schools are focused on safely getting students and staff back into the classrooms, and that there is a critical need to streamline health screenings and recording on-campus presence so that schools can operate as effectively and efficiently as possible. These are just two reasons schools across the country are implementing Raptor Visitor Management during the pandemic.
Raptor Visitor Management tracks and records every individual using the system to sign in, which can include their contact information and when exactly they were in your school. These details are available in a downloadable report so you can quickly and accurately contact trace. The Remote Screening Module within the system screens students and staff before they leave each day. Schools can also leverage on-site health screening for visitors, students, and staff and configure the system for contactless sign in. As of December 2020, our health screening is being used in over 4,000 schools and has screened students over one million times, staff over 471K times, and visitors over 426K times since July.
To learn more about Raptor, contact us to schedule a personalized demo.