One of the many devastating consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic is that schools have been closed in some regions for roughly a year, forcing children to take their classes at home. School closures have been difficult for the students, their families, and their teachers alike.
At last, the CDC announced in 2021 that schools could safely reopen, and President Biden supported the push with his own five-day reopening strategy. However, reopening schools is not as simple as unlocking the doors. Everyone must adopt new safety precautions, such as social distancing and wearing masks, for class to resume without putting anyone at risk.
Safely reopening schools during COVID-19 requires a social distancing classroom setup, which for many classes means getting new furniture. Modern Office has six essential kinds of furniture that will help your campus follow the guidelines for reopening schools.
1. Laminate Conference Tables
Every conference table in 2021 should ideally be laminate. This nonporous material is wipeable and therefore easy to clean. Modern Office offers laminate tables in several different colors, including black, white, and varying shades of brown. They also vary by shape: rectangular, round, or expandable. With any style (rolling, flip-top, modular, or workstation with power strips), you can add barriers for extra protection.
2. Beam Seating
Beam seating is ideal for offices or reception rooms. These are sets of attached chairs that can fit against a wall or be placed in rows. In school environments, beam seats can be spaced out in libraries or other often-rearranged areas. Most importantly, beam seating is made with materials that are very easy to clean. Modern Office sells entire sets or single seats. You can also browse for variations with or without magazine tables.
3. Laminated Carrels
Cubicles aren’t common in classrooms, but they’re a great way to keep people isolated. Modern Office’s selection includes easy-to-clean laminated carrels that can be used as barriers between students’ desks, preventing airborne germs from spreading. Choose from many styles and accessories, including:
- Small and large sizes
- Classy white or simple wood
- Keyboard trays
- Adjustable-height carrels
- Add-on barriers
- Laptop cord porthole
4. Antimicrobial Vinyl Reception Seating
Don’t forget to update the seats in your libraries and administrative offices. Modern Office’s selection includes chairs covered in antimicrobial vinyl, a material that won’t collect bacteria and viruses. Antimicrobial vinyl is also easy to clean and can handle bleach, making it the ideal chair material for reopening schools during COVID-19.
5. Laminate Desks
Every child returning to the classroom should have their own, separate desk in the interest of social distancing. If that isn’t possible, use seminar tables or training tables to give students at the same table extra space. Laminate desks and tables are easy for everyone to wipe down after they leave so the next class will have clean surfaces waiting for them. Desks with as few surfaces as possible are ideal for preventing bacteria buildup.
6. Polypropylene Chairs
Another material that’s easy to clean and sanitize is polypropylene, which is a form of plastic. Many schools already utilize this type of chair. They are great for the classroom, as many styles are stackable and they come in various colors.
COVID-19 Classroom Setup Ideas
How should teachers set up their classrooms during COVID-19? It’s a good question to ask, since this will become your biggest project prior to reopening. Here are some COVID-friendly classroom design ideas that promote cleanliness and social distancing.
- Arrange desks in rows six feet apart
- Use floor tape for traffic control
- Limit classroom capacity if possible
- Reduce the number of touchable items in the classroom
- Place hand sanitizer around the classroom
Above all, remember that this is a trying time for everyone. Lighten the mood when you can. Use humor and turn compliance into a game for younger students to make the transition easier.
How Schools Can Prevent the Spread of COVID-19
When your school reopens, check the CDC’s guidelines for reopening schools in 2021 and post them in the classroom for all to see. Clean and disinfect constantly—before and after class and between transfers of items. To set up a safe classroom, browse Modern Office’s furniture for classrooms, libraries, and offices. Investing in proper furniture will help keep students and staff safe when they return.