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Maintenance Dept. Preps Schools for Return
Maintenance Dept. Preps Schools for Return
Posted on 07/15/2020
A collage showing Maintenance workers installing signage, physical distancing markers, and other safety equipment.By Tim Reaves
BCS Communications Department

As we prepare to re-open our buildings for students and staff, the Buncombe County Schools Maintenance Department is hard at work ensuring each school has protective measures in place.

Maintenance crews spent the last two weeks placing physical distancing markers in halls near bathrooms, installing plexiglass shields in front offices, and storing personal protective equipment (PPE) like face masks and hand sanitizer on site.

On July 7, one crew arrived at Emma Elementary School with a truckload of supplies. They spent the morning marking off six-foot spacers in front of bathrooms, the cafeteria, and the media center. As at other schools, they delivered PPE, installed plexiglass shields in the front office, and taped over some of the bathroom sinks to create space for physical distancing.

“We support the schools through construction, safety improvements, repair, and upgrades,” said Alesha Reardon, the department’s energy manager. “Whatever needs to be done, we come together and get it done.”

The Maintenance Department’s efforts are part of a larger push to prepare school buildings and buses for the safe return of in-person instruction next month under Plan B, a hybrid of remote and in-person learning announced on Tuesday.

“We are using all of our resources to make sure that the safety of our staff and students is a top priority,” said Emma Elementary Principal Carla Shipman. “We are emphasizing that students and staff wear masks, wash their hands regularly, and physically distance when possible. Everyone is working together to ensure that we follow all safety protocols.”

Final supply deliveries and installations finished on Tuesday in preparation for the JumpStart Program, an innovative, in-person summer learning program that started on Wednesday.

    Buncombe County Schools is in the process of reviewing its website to ensure compliance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Buncombe County Schools does not discriminate on the basis of sex in its education programs or activities and is required by Title IX of the Education Amendments Act of 1972 and federal regulations to not discriminate in such a manner. This requirement extends to admission and employment. Inquiries about the application of Title IX and its implementing federal regulations may be referred to the Title IX Coordinator and/or the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights in the Office for Civil Rights at the U.S. Department of Education. The Title IX Coordinator's contact information is: Shanon Martin,, 828-255-5918, 175 Bingham Road, Asheville, NC 28806.

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