Starting the school year virtually seems to be the norm for most larger school districts in Mid-Michigan.
Hemlock Public School District is already two days into their school year and is providing a hybrid model.
“Everywhere the students are going to be, we are going to be in there disinfecting every day,” said Dustin Sensabaugh, with Hotsy Central Cleaning System.
“This year we’ve had to make sure that we are going to do high touch areas we need to clean those areas daily,” said Stephanie Baker, custodial head.
Inside K.C. Ling Elementary School in Hemlock, disinfecting and sanitizing high touch areas, lockers, and classrooms is happening frequently.
The district partnered with Saginaw-based Hotsy Central Cleaning Systems.
“We got in with Hemlock with the victory electrostatic sprayers, we are going to be using those inside classrooms every day,” Sensabaugh said.
Those sprayers are working harder than your standard disinfectant.
“There’s more coverage on those than what you would get with the normal disinfectant wipe,” Sensabaugh said.
Superintendent Don Killingbeck said of his 1,200 total students, 90 percent have opted to return to the classroom this year.
“It looks like we’ll have approximately 10 percent that will choose our remote virtual option,” Killingbeck said.
So to make certain surfaces were cleaned, Hotsy trained the custodial staff.
“It’s definitely going to take more time, so our superintendent has brought in more staffing also to take care of this because there is more cleaning, more cleaning, takes more time,” Baker said.
As a rural school, Killingbeck said social distancing is achievable.
Students and staff will have to wear masks whether all day or at least moving throughout the school.
Lunches will be delivered or grab and go style and the school has conjured up an out of the box idea to guarantee social distancing.
“We’ve went the extra mile here at Hemlock Public School District, we’ve even installed additional sidewalks to make the availability for parents to drop their student off at the sidewalk and then walk directly into the building,” Killingbeck said.
Sprayers are using hospital and food-grade disinfectants so it’s non-toxic for staff and students within Hemlock Public Schools.
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