23,400 wipes and 2 SEC Coaches

What if Coach Saban and Coach Malzahn were in charge of keeping Room 112 as clean as their locker rooms?

Coach Saban and Coach Malzahn NOT discussing how to keep Room 112 clean and safe

I believe that attending school is about more than the scope and standards of my curriculum. I believe that I am a better instructor in a face-to-face setting. I believe that my students need the interactions, the structure, the support, the extras of school that we all missed last spring.

I believe that if we start school in a few weeks, people will be infected with COVID. Children, teachers, parents, bus drivers, paraprofessionals, all drastically increase the odds of a positive test. Some of use will have few to no symptoms, some of us will have flu like symptoms and recover in a few weeks, some of us will be admitted to the hospital.

I believe that I cannot solve the larger problem, but what would it take to make Room 112 as safe as possible, as reasonably as possible, for 180 school days. I drew my inspiration from reading articles about Alabama & Auburn Football COVID precautions. Coaches, who I know have legitimate concern for the safety of their players, also have access to the best doctors and resources. If Nick Saban and Gus Malzahn were tasked with making Room 112 as safe as their team meeting rooms, what would they do? For those of you not from the state of Alabama, it is normal for us to wonder “How would my favorite college football coach handle this situation?”.

Basic Facts: Each Semester 115 students take at least one class in Room 112 (this is roughly the size of a college football team during summer workouts). Under the mask of reasonableness, I am excluding access to onsite medical care. While Room 112 can be strenuous, we do not need a doctor in the room during a lecture. What I want to do is apply their best practices to Room 112.

Number of people in the Room: Currently, 10 people (including a coach) are allowed into team rooms, indoor workouts, or film sessions. In keeping with that logic, the coaches suggest a blended classroom with 3 groups, each student attends in class lectures once every three days and then continues with remote instruction on the off days.

Disinfectant Wipes
115 students * 1 wipe a day * 180 days = 23, 400 Wipes
23, 400 Wipes / 75 wipes per container = 312 containers of wipes
312 containers * $4.75 = $1,480 wipes
**Prices vary and working off the assumption that when Coach Malzahn orders wipes – they are in stock and delivered
Air Purifying System
I have had the extreme pleasure of touring the Alabama Football Locker room, and the trainers were overjoyed with the new air purifying systems that are installed. Not only do they kill germs in the air, but pump over oxygenated air back in for the players to breathe.
Sneeze Guards
The Alabama Educators Union goals for reopening included Plexiglas shields for office personal, bus drivers, and cafeteria workers. The coaches and I think sneeze guards will be important in Room 112 because of the modular seating arrangement and the fact that students are encouraged but not required to wear a mask (Let us be honest, teenagers forget things)
(26 student workstations + 1 teacher desk)*( 1 tabletop sneeze-guard * $125.00 per guard) + (1 mobile shield for lecturing at the board *$599)
Additional Staff for Cleaning between classes
CDC guidelines recommend cleaning classrooms during the day. Our amazing janitorial staff is already busy during the day, so we would need to add a new hire. However, it would be wasteful to not share with my fellow teachers. Assuming one staff member could work between 6 different classrooms each day. According to our research, new custodians start off at $16,200 / year. (This is shocking low for a hardworking person tasked with keeping our classrooms clean and safe, but the coaches and I agree we will tackle that in a separate report).
$16,200 / 6 rooms = $2,700
**the other classrooms will have to host a bake sale to cover their portion and we are assuming this hire will either bring his own supplies or have access to the mysteriously located school supply closet.

Total = $9, 784

So there you have it, the coaches think I need just under $10,000 to create and maintain a clean learning environment for my students who can attend school 1 out of ever 3 days.

The purpose of this post is not to mock football coaches (of which I am a huge fan) or existing re-opening policies. The purpose is to highlight the impossibility of the task at hand for teachers, administrators, and supervisors. I know without a shadow of a doubt, that if my system could spend $9,784 in each classroom they would absolutely do it.

**No actual football coaches were contacted in writing this little blog post.


Published by MaryClair Wright

High School Computer Science Teacher in Alabama.

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