Board Contracts with Pandemic Preparedness Experts for Reopening Plan
Posted Monday, July 27, 2020
At a special board meeting held on July 24, the Loveland Board of Education approved a contract with LJB, an engineering firm with military-based pandemic expertise, to help enhance their preparedness for the 2020-2021 school year.
LJB, a nationally recognized engineering firm, is led by industrial hygiene and preventive health experts who created and implemented pandemic preparedness plans, protocols, and controls while serving in the U.S. military. The LJB team will be executing a Continuity of Operations (COOP) plan for all six of Loveland’s schools. The firm will develop and select the health and safety measures to reduce the spread of infectious disease for an in-person student instruction model. LJB will do this by performing assessments, planning, and recommending health and safety controls.
"By leveraging LJB’s expertise, we are confident that we will save valuable time and resources while avoiding the high stakes consequences of reactive or trial-and-error approaches,” shared Board President Dr. Kathryn Lorenz.
The district is using funding from the Federal Coronavirus Relief Fund restricted to expenditures incurred due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We are experts at what we want to accomplish in our classrooms. They have the expertise to ensure we do so in the safest way possible,” Dr. Crouse shared.
Board member Kevin Dougherty added, “The Board’s support of striving for the full-time model was an expression of a goal for returning to in-person learning in the safest way possible. We are fortunate to have a community member from a national engineering firm with unique capacity and qualifications with military and pandemic expertise to assist us in designing and implementing layers of protection for teachers, staff, students, and essential functions.”
LJB will begin work in Loveland Schools immediately with an evaluation process of the current reopening plan starting with Loveland Elementary School first. LJB will then provide custom recommendations and guidelines for LES before assessing the remaining school plans. In the event the operation of a five-day, in-person model presents unacceptable risk levels to staff, educators, or students, LJB will advise alternative solutions. This may include consideration of other hybrid models to reduce that risk.
“We understand the focus on offering the highest degree of protections for teachers, staff, and students, while balancing the needs of all. This work will require an intense collaborative process between LJB, administration, staff, and educator representatives to develop and design healthy and safe learning environments to meet both short- and long-term needs,” said Dawn Colombi, P.M.P, the Occupational and Environmental Health Leader/Safety Director at LJB.