The stacks of boxes in Killeen ISD’s distribution center warehouse testify to the unique nature of the approaching start to the new school year.
In the first of several expected deliveries, the district received three truck loads of protective masks and shields and hand sanitizer.
It’s been busy times and it’s going to get busier, said KISD Coordinator for Distribution Center Adam Eccleston.
School district drivers will be transporting the personal protective items to schools across the community prior to the scheduled start of school, which had been scheduled for Aug. 17.
On Thursday, however, the Bell County Public Health District ordered that in-school instruction be delayed until Sept. 8, because of high local case numbers of the coronavirus.
Whenever school begins in KISD, the district will be ready to supply the needed PPE items.
The initial load of products includes the following:
• 4,832 gallons of thin-gel hand sanitizer
• 74,000 adult cloth masks
• 286,000 adult disposable masks
• 122,000 child disposable masks for children 6 to 12 years of age
• 350 no-touch digital thermometers for school clinics
• 1,350 face shields for school nutrition employees and various elementary staff
Another load of gloves, masks and shields from the Texas Education Agency is expected as well as about 800 pallets of school supplies.
Distribution employees moved non-frozen food items to make room for the stacks of boxes at the warehouse.
The unusual loads of protective gear follow an unexpected shift in operations last spring, mirroring the rest of the school district, the nation and the world during the COVID-19 pandemic.
In March, all but two of the 25 warehouse employees began working from home following the state’s stay-at-home order that closed school from spring break to the end of the school year.
The warehouse resumed full staffing around the end of March and has been humming ever since.
“It’s definitely an unusual time – out of the ordinary,” said Eccleston, who said he and the other employees of the distribution center appreciate their role as a helpmate to the overall operation of schools.
“It’s very rewarding to help during this time of crisis,” he said. “These products we will deliver may save the life of a child or a teacher.”
Killeen ISD announced this week a face covering requirement for students and staff members when social distancing cannot be maintained.
Updated protocols are available on the district’s website in the Return to Learn section: