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3 Risks Becoming More Prevalent for K-12 Schools Now that COVID-19 Is in the Mix

Risks abound for every industry, but schools servicing students K-12 must be certain to review these exposures now that the novel coronavirus has disrupted learning across the country.

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When the novel coronavirus first caused organizations to shut their doors, schools across the country complied quickly. Safety was a top concern.

But so was education.

“The impact of having the schools close, from an educational and developmental impact, is real,” said Robert Groff, assistant vice president of underwriting for Philadelphia Insurance Company. Schools were forced to move from a brick-and-mortar classroom setting to virtual learning environment overnight. “Some students didn’t have access to computers or virtual capabilities, so there was a lot of disruption to education to contend with at the beginning,” he explained.

Now that the pandemic has remained a prevalent force well into the new school year, Groff said that there are several other risk factors schools are trying to manage. Virtual learning is a big challenge to overcome, especially with the added vulnerabilities cyber can bring. Additionally, schools and their risk mitigation teams are having to adapt to new or updated state and local health recommendations on almost a weekly basis. They need to be prepared for the intermittent closures in the event of future outbreaks.

“Some schools have had to limit class sizes while others have moved to a virtual/in-class hybrid model,” said Groff. Some, still, are continually pushing back the start date of the 2020-21 school year.

The financial impact of all these changes is yet to be seen, but Groff believes it will be significant. Schools now require additional cleaning supplies, new barriers and personal protective equipment for students and faculty alike.

“Some have had to upgrade their ventilation systems and implement other changes to infrastructure that are necessary to keep the students and faculty safe,” Groff added.

Here are just three areas of heightened risk being driven by the pandemic that could lead to potential financial strain, and how schools can address such exposures.

To learn more about Philadelphia Insurance Companies, please visit their website.

Philadelphia Insurance Companies (PHLY) offers product-specific resources, alliances, and service capabilities to achieve a multi-faceted approach to risk management, including safety program development, site audits, and training (including interactive web-based training). We offer a wide range of products and value-added services at financial terms to be agreed upon to help you achieve your risk management goals.

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