PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — As we move closer towards fall, schools around the region are planning out how they will ensure a safe and clean environment for the returning students.

Portland schools

Portland Public Schools tells KOIN 6 they will continue to implement regular cleaning procedures in all district facilities. 

Custodial staff will pay special attention to high-touch surfaces throughout the day and school buses will be cleaned and disinfected daily. PPS will conduct a comprehensive disinfection if there are any COVID-19 outbreaks within a classroom, per CDC and local guidance.

The school district will continue to provide easy access to soap, water and alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Schools will prioritize handwashing with soap and water after students, educators and staff use the restroom and throughout the day as appropriate.

When it comes to lunchtime, PPS officials are still finalizing the details.

Beaverton schools

Out in Beaverton, officials have already hammered down what lunchtime will look like for students.

We know kids will be wearing masks to schools this year — but of course, that makes lunch trickier. School officials are currently working out how to maintain distance and prevent touching during this maskless activity.

The chief facilities administrator at the Beaverton School District believes that students will be allowed to remove their masks during mealtime, and not just in between bites. Schools have the option of outdoor lunch, as long as the weather allows. 

As for meal distribution — the Beaverton nutrition services administrator says all items will be individually portioned, but not everything will be wrapped. 

For example, fruits and vegetables will either be packaged or put in a paper boat for service. The paper boats will be on the service line behind sneeze guards but not wrapped. Students will then select the items they want, touching only the paper boat.

Younger students will be helped during this process.  

Due to space concerns, lunchrooms may use salad bars but only packaged items or whole fruit will be provided, such as apple sauce cups and pre-bagged veggies. Serving utensils like tongs will be changed between each lunch.

As we’ve learned in this pandemic, the virus is constantly changing — so, school officials will be ready to adapt to any changing guidance from public health experts.