The COVID-19 pandemic has dealt a difficult hand to classrooms across the globe. In the wake of global lockdowns, schools closed and at-home learning became a new responsibility for parents. Unfortunately, this often came at the cost of a quality education.
For teachers, school staff and students, clever cost-effective solutions like social distancing with modular classrooms can offer a lifeline. Modular classrooms offer more space, and more space equates to a safer environment for students and teachers alike.
It’s important to note that just because modular classrooms and school portables are quick solutions, does not mean they sacrifice quality. Let’s explore the opportunities modular classrooms provide and learn how they can be essential for practicing social distancing in schools.
VESTA Modular is working to provide educational institutions the modular building solutions they need. If you or your school are curious about how classroom portables fit into your safety guidelines, contact us today.
How Social Distancing Requirements Affected Schools
In an unprecedented time of global crisis, many educational institutions faced new rules and demanding regulations. Implementing these rules became a challenge that some schools still struggle with more than a year into the pandemic.
Social distancing presented the biggest challenge for classrooms that were already overcrowded.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) offered guidelines for schools to implement social distancing measures. These included the following:
- Keeping distance between students in class
- Maintaining six feet of physical distancing when not seated at a desk
- Removing non-essential furniture
- Limiting visitors and volunteers
Because of a lack of adequate space to practice these measures, these restrictions forced schools to change their strategy. Instead of in-person instruction, hybrid learning and remote learning became the norm.
While both hybrid and remote approaches help students access education, they are not without their downsides. Practicing social distancing with modular classrooms, however, provides schools with an affordable solution.
Social Distancing with Modular: The Benefits
One of the ways to socially distance students is by adding extra classroom space, but with limited budgets and lack of planning time, this can be a challenge for any school. Modular classrooms offer a quick, cost-effective and non-disruptive solution for educational institutions.
For schools, social distancing with modular classrooms can be a godsend. It can mean:
- More space for students to spread out according to CDC guidelines
- The ability to add and take away portable units according to demand
- The ability to divide entry points and avoid using one main entrance
- Using new seating layouts to optimize space while sticking to social distancing guidelines
Another benefit of modular buildings is that you can customize them to fit the needs of your school, and blend the look and feel of the units to match the pre-existing design. While classroom space is one use, schools can be clever in how they use their portable units. Schools use modular buildings as nurses’ offices, administration space, gymnasiums and much more.
When Social Distancing Is Required, Modular Classrooms Are Delivered Fast
With the ever-changing situation surrounding COVID-19 guidelines, it is essential for schools to put policies in place fast. VESTA Modular is more than up for the task.
To accommodate new space demands and help students and staff in the midst of the pandemic, we quickly designed modular classroom floor plans specifically for increased safety.
For administrators and teachers, rolling with the punches has been a theme of 2020. Adding space to implement social distancing shouldn’t be yet another stressful impact of COVID-19.
Temporary Modular Classrooms for Social Distancing Pivots
Overcrowded classrooms in schools will remain once the pandemic wanes. But temporary spaces built to provide social distancing for schools can remain, too.
Pivoting from temporary to permanent use is easy with modular classrooms, and it can provide the extra space a school needs without sinking a strained budget. Modular classrooms can provide more flexible options relative to traditional construction.
- Are relocatable, allowing for movement across campus if needed
- Require fewer deliveries of materials and tools during the construction process
- Can limit the need for workers to be on-site, helping with social distancing measures
Modular Is an Affordable Way to Add Social Distance
Social distancing is essential to managing COVID-19 infections. For schools struggling to maintain a balanced budget, proper space requirements needed for optimum physical distancing are almost out of reach. Modular classrooms offer a cost-effective solution with a small footprint.
This has made portable classrooms available for schools in constrained urban environments as well as rural campuses. Modular classrooms are often turnkey setups that require minimal on-site construction. This cuts costs for installation and labor.
Additionally, CARES Act funding has opened up modular classrooms for social distancing to most public institutions.
Multiple Uses for Modular Solutions in Schools
When it comes to social distancing requirements, the need for extra space doesn’t just apply to classrooms. Universities have also been forced to deal with the realities and challenges of defending against a highly contagious disease and the movements of young adult students.
At VESTA Modular, we’ve been called on for several large-scale dormitory projects. In 2020, we assembled a large number of temporary dormitory buildings that could be used to house students who tested positive and needed to be sheltered elsewhere on campus.
Curious to know more about these projects? Check out examples of VESTA’s modular construction work during the pandemic.
Alternative Solutions and Why They Don’t Work
During the early months of the pandemic, many schools had to shift to remote learning without proper preparation. Additionally, the school staff members were ill-equipped to meet the demands of returning students and CDC guidelines.
The unprecedented situation presented by the COVID-19 pandemic tested almost every industry. The educational system, already strained with funding issues, took the best available steps given the unsafe environment.
Since the early stages of the pandemic, school staff and parents have learned the importance of in-person instruction. Alternatives like remote learning and rotating scheduling allow students to participate in a quality substitute, but they falter in new and challenging ways.
Remote Learning vs. Adding Modular Classrooms
Remote learning provides some students access to an education that would otherwise be non-existent during the pandemic. This imperfect tool was a valiant effort in servicing millions of students in a safe and socially isolated setting.
Unfortunately, remote learning forced parents and other caretakers to take on the role of teacher. For some, this was an easy transition, while others had a harder time navigating remote learning. Additionally, technological limitations kept the most impoverished and rural communities from participating in quality learning.
Social distancing with modular classrooms provides a temporary or permanent solution to schools struggling with safe in-person instruction.
Rotating Schedules vs. Adding Modular Classrooms
Rotating scheduling is a clever solution to allow groups to occupy a physical space safely. While you can do it in a safe way, rotating scheduling can put extra pressure on staff and resources. This includes stretching an already overworked staff to operate for extended hours to meet the demands of the proper schedule rotation.
Modular classrooms offer schools the ability to maintain, more or less, their regular schedule for the school year. This means students have the benefit of consistency in their learning. Teachers can expect a steady schedule and their traditional holidays off, helping with staff morale and retention.
Social Distancing with Modular Is Easy. VESTA Modular Makes It Easier.
Implementing social distancing measures is a difficult task for any educational institution. The benefits of in-person instruction mean schools with the space for students offer a more comprehensive educational experience.
VESTA Modular is committed to helping schools find affordable solutions for social distancing with modular classrooms. Give our team a call at 817-663-8527 or reach out online to speak with an experienced team member today.
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