The pandemic has thrown a wrench into nearly everyone's plans, and it doesn't help that Texas has not seen the decline in cases that we were hoping for after reopening. The threats have caused nearly every industry to rethink plans, including several school districts that have already come out with potential schedules for the 2020 - 2021 year. We'll look at how this could have an impact on the construction schedule of recreation structures and what everyone can do to minimize the disruption.
Before we get into the effect, we'll look at how the school year might be adjusted for different districts:
- Traditional: Even with the pandemic going on, some administrators are still considering the traditional school year. This would mean starting in early or mid-August and ending in May, with normal holiday breaks along the way.
- Response: The COVID-19 response calendar would start early in August but also incorporate make-up days, similar to how schools located in inclement climate regions would schedule make-up days before the start of the school year.
- Intercessional: This calendar is essentially schedule blocks of time off from schools. Some students would still attend during these times (e.g., those who need extra help), but the general population will take longer holiday breaks and then wrap up the school year in June instead of May.
The idea of the new schedules is not necessarily to try to predict what might happen, only to allow and prepare for significant changes along the way.
School breaks are an important time for school officials to clean and repair their play structures. They may choose to add more equipment to certain areas to cut down on wait times or just to give kids a little more variety. But the uncertainty of the scheduling could make it more difficult for administrators to plan for maintenance, simply because the schedule itself is tentative at best and unreliable at worst.
How to Work with the Proposed Changes
There are a number of criteria laid out by the school districts regarding how they'll decide exactly what to do. Each school will have to consider their geographical constraints and how it will affect them. For instance, a more rural county without a lot of incoming or outgoing travelers may see very little changes to their school year.
Other districts though might want to schedule their construction during the warmer months when more people are outside and the virus has less of a chance to spread. This way, administrators are less likely to avoid even the recommendations for ensuring the safety of both the workers and their students.
In addition, administrators should also consider performing more maintenance throughout the year, or even allowing for a longer timeframe for bigger projects. If the work is more spaced out, this will save officials from having to complete more work than they have time for if the summer break is cut short.
It's easy to push this concern to the bottom of the list, but this would be a major mistake for everyone in the community. Regardless of their age, giving kids a reason to get up and move around is especially important right now. There are too many physical and psychological benefits to discount the importance of recreation.
May Recreation Equipment & Design is a top supplier of playground equipment, shelters, playground safety surfacing, splash pads, site amenities, and related products in East Texas. Our goal is to work closely with you to ensure your project completes
- On Time
- On Budget
- Beyond Your Expectations
For more information check out our website or the May Recreation Blog.