At the start of the school year, NYCDOE will provide all schools with necessary health and cleaning supplies to help protect students and staff from COVID-19, including hand sanitizer, soap, and disinfectants. NYCDOE conducted a survey of all hand washing sinks and will make necessary repairs prior to school opening. We will make the maximum number of sinks available for handwashing, including the recommissioning of hand washing sinks with tempered outlets that were previously offline. DOE will also increase cleaning throughout the school day, with special attention to high-touch areas.
When the school year begins, schools will need to implement enhanced cleaning and disinfection of surfaces to ensure the health and safety of staff and students. DOE will continue the rigorous practices used to prepare buildings for reopening, including: providing adequate cleaning and disinfection supplies or plan to procure those supplies; requiring deep cleanings to be completed on a nightly basis, including with the use of electrostatic sprayers; setting-up enhanced cleaning in classrooms, bathrooms, and for high touch areas such as doorknobs and shared equipment such as laptops; providing teachers with cleaning supplies for classrooms. There will be increased access and regular opportunities for students and staff to wash hands or use hand sanitizer throughout the day.
NYCDOE and the School Construction Authority (SCA) will work with schools to meet the requirements of the 2020 New York State Uniform Fire Prevention and Building Code (BC) and the State Energy Conservation Code. Should alterations be made, DOE and SCA will submit the proposed changes to the NYC Department of Buildings (NYC DOB) and Office of Facilities Planning (OFP) for review and approval, as with prior projects.
NYCDOE’s annual Building Condition Assessment Survey (BCAs) allows us to remain in compliance with the 2020 Building Condition Survey and Visual Inspection. NYCDOE and SCA are in constant communication with NYSED, and SCA has been in touch with NYSED to come up with a plan to submit surveys for 20% of our portfolio each year. We are actively engaged in plan finalization. NYCDOE and SCA will continue to work with schools to ensure ongoing compliance.
Where reopening plans include the installation of any dividers, needed in classrooms, libraries, cafeterias, auditoriums, gymnasiums, doors, and other points of congregation, detailed floor plans will be submitted to NYC DOB/OFP for review.
In order to expedite projects submissions to NYSED related to COVID-19 (example: adjusting a building footprint, etc.), DOE will work to ensure the projects plans are labeled “COVID-19 Reopening.”
NYCDOE will resume lead in water testing once schools are back in session, as DOH guidelines say that testing can only occur when building is under normal use. This testing will adhere to all requirements under the state regulation and be completed within the designated time period.
NYCDOE’s Division of School Facilities (DSF) performed an HVAC survey to determine deferred maintenance needs. DSF is performing required HVAC maintenance (including windows) and filter changes. DSF and the SCA are working together on systems that require capital-level repairs. NYCDOE is continuing to perform maintenance and modify operations to maximize the supply of outdoor air for ventilation to the greatest extent possible.
Leased Facilities and Tents
NYCDOE will ensure that any new facilities being considered for leasing will be reviewed with DOB/OFP for a preliminary evaluation. No firm decision on leased sites has been made to date. Should tents be erected for temporary or permanent use, NYCDOE will ensure that they adhere to the BCNYS standards. No firm decision on tents has been made to date.
Dividers and Wellness Barriers
Where reopening plans include the installation of any dividers, needed in classrooms, libraries, cafeterias, auditoriums, gymnasiums, doors, and other points of congregation, detailed floor plans will be submitted to NYC DOB/OFP for review. Wellness barriers purchased by the NYCDOE are in compliance with the requirements of 2020 BCNYS Section 2606.
NYCDOE will work to ensure that any new building construction and temporary quarter project will be submitted to DOB/OFP for a full code review, although any such decisions and work are still in flux.
Facilities and Fixtures
NYCDOE has no planned changes to the number of toilet and sink fixtures in out buildings. Existing and/or altered toilet and sink fixtures will meet applicable standards.
NYCDOE will not be removing any drinking fountains from buildings. If there is a drinking fountain taken offline for maintenance, or failure to pass a lead test, bottled water will be provided.
NYCDOE will distribute FCNYS 2020 Section 5705.5 to all Custodians with directions to ensure that all existing and new Alcohol-based Hand-Rub Dispensers which are installed in any locations are in compliance to code.