Behind the Scenes of Lakeside’s COVID Response 


The essentials.

At the peak of the pandemic, things were looking grim: it seemed that even the 2021-22 school year had a chance to be remote due to the rate of growth of the infected. Near the end of the school year, however, all but the most cautious agreed that school would most likely take place in-person in the fall. The only things left were the new yet-to-be-announced COVID safety rules. And on August 11, Director of Experiential Education Bryan Smith announced that school would resume full-time, largely with the same safety protocols.

In particular, this meant that the school will resume its surface sanitization endeavors, as well as air filters and other disposable safety items. However, students and teachers will not be required to clean their own areas after class, keeping just a daily cleaning by the facilities team. We talked with Head of Facilities Dan Dawkins for more information regarding these logistics.

Fortunately, things are pretty standardized. The team, led by Bryan Smith, has gained the experience of the past school year and more, ensuring a safe environment for Lakesiders. Mr. Dawkins emphasized the rigorous nature of the process, noting the numerous experts that all contributed to each decision. At each turn, the Heads of Schools confer with a team of medical professionals to advise what the Facilities team should do. They, in turn, are guided by the Health Department, the CDC, and State guidelines. Additionally, with the rapidly changing dynamic of the pandemic, the team must stay up to date on the newest mandates and data that guide their practices.

Some procedures remain invariant under all this change. When it comes to sanitation items, the sanitation team works flawlessly in tandem with Lakeside’s other operations. The wipes, spray bottles, and other one-time use items are supplied by the local Walter E. Nelson company. Then, after they are fully used, Lakeside’s janitorial crew picks them up and places them in a designated area behind the campus. 

This will all be done daily as Lakeside prepares to go in-person at full capacity. As we step onto and appreciate our campus, we can also appreciate the work that keeps it safe.