Face Shields Fill Need as Schools Weigh Options for Reopening
Schools across the country try ZShields for the 2020-21 school year
COLUMBIA, S.C. (July 1, 2020) – As school systems nationwide work to formalize attendance plans for the new year, schools across the country are adopting ZShield face shields as part of the dress code to deter the spread of COVID-19.
Three educational institutions in South Carolina, Hammond School, Northside Christian Academy and Columbia Arts Academy, are among the schools incorporating ZShields into their reopening strategies.
All three schools cite the importance of finding a comfortable, wearable solution for Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) that provides an effective barrier while also fostering face-to-face connections between teachers and students. The ZShield’s transparent, plastic visors allow for clear verbal and nonverbal communication. They also help prevent the direct transfer of respiratory droplets from the shield wearer’s mouth or nose onto persons, food or other surfaces.
“Here at Hammond School, we recognize the value of a smile, something we see on a daily basis,” said Chris Angel, Headmaster of Hammond School. “The ZShield will afford us a greater level of safety and more flexibility as we begin the exciting task of re-opening in August. Since announcing our plans last week, we’ve received great feedback from teachers and parents, especially those with students who have special needs or are hard of hearing.”
Hammond School, a pre-K through 12 college preparatory day school in Columbia, South Carolina, is buying ZShields for its students, teachers and staff to wear throughout the school day. According to Angel, ZShields will help the school to accomplish three interdependent goals: they will help safeguard the health of its school community; help Hammond to safely reopen its classrooms and playing fields; and re-establish the ever important face-to-face instructional time that is difficult to replace.
ZShields are unique from other face shields because they attach around the neck, like a necklace, allowing for comfortable, all-day wear. ZShields also have the ability to flex downward without touching the face, allowing for lunch breaks, snack breaks, coffee breaks, etc. ZShields are made in the USA, recyclable and reusable, and the plastic visors can be easily cleaned with soap and water. The company is offering discounted pricing to educational institutions.
Columbia Arts Academy has provided ZShields to all teachers and staff. All students ages 11 and up are required to wear a face covering, with the option of wearing a mask or face shield. The Academy also will continue to offer online lessons for those who wish to participate virtually.
“As a music educator for 35 years, it’s vitally important that our music students are able to ‘see’ our faces and mouths for their music lesson experience,” said Marty Fort, director of Columbia Arts Academy. “ZShields are a lifesaver for our industry. During those long teaching days, this is by far the most practical and safest solution for our academy.”
Northside Christian Academy (NCA), a K4 through 12 private school in Lexington, South Carolina, will return to normal school days, five days a week beginning Sept. 1, 2020. Teachers and school staff will wear ZShields and parents are required to purchase ZShields for their students.
NCA Pastor Scott Crede said, “We have tried the shields and they are comfortable, less restrictive for breathing and we can see our students’ beautiful, smiling faces. The shields seem very durable and require only soap and water to clean. The shields should last for the entire school year.”
The American Academy of Pediatrics recently released a statement noting that schools are fundamental to child and adolescent development and well-being. The statement supported students being physically present in the classroom, noting that a failure to return could further contribute to social isolation and loss of learning.
“With kids of my own, I know firsthand how hard this pandemic has been on educators, school children and their families,” said ZVerse CEO and Founder John Carrington. “ZShields provide options for students and teachers to return to school and maintain valuable facetime. We are on the phone with school boards daily, talking through various scenarios that would allow schools to reopen safely this fall. We are honored to be part of these discussions and to provide requested options for face coverings as schools make difficult decisions. We will continue to work hard to deliver as many shields as possible before the school year begins.”
ZVerse, the digital manufacturing company that designed and is producing ZShields, is providing ZShields to hundreds of schools across the country as school systems, seeking to protect students and educators, invest in an array of safety equipment to meet a variety of educational needs, including masks and face shields.
In early March, ZVerse leveraged its ecosystem of designers, materials and manufacturers to become one of the largest producers of face shields in the U.S. The company initially focused on providing shields to the healthcare community, with its ZShield Health product. It has since launched ZShield Flex, ZShield Wrap and ZShield Youth, which cater to the education and service industries, including restaurants, salons and elective medical offices. For more information about ZShield products and pricing, visit http://zshields.zverse.com/collections/available-products.
ZVerse is a digital manufacturing ecosystem that brings together makers with the designers, materials and manufacturers they need to bring their products to life. The Columbia, South Carolina-based company is the developer of the only CAD as a Service (CADaaS) platform for digital manufacturing. This proprietary technology is the driving force behind ZVerse’s effort to produce millions of face shields to support the COVID-19 response. For more information, visit zverse.comand follow the company on Instagram, TwitterandFacebookto learn more about its #BeTheShield campaign.
The Wilbert Group