ESD 112 is helping schools across the state of Washington get the personal protective equipment (PPE) they need in advance of a return to in-person education.

Late last month, truckloads of face shields, cloth face coverings, gloves, N95 masks and other forms of PPE began making their way from ESD 112 in Vancouver to approximately 90% of the state’s public school districts and 160 private schools. ESD 112 facilitated the bid and purchase process for the items on behalf of the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI).

“Recognizing the impending need to get personal protective equipment into the hands of educators across the state, OSPI asked if we could take the lead and coordinate one large order for schools — from procurement to delivery,” explained ESD 112 Superintendent Tim Merlino. “I am really proud of our team for stepping up to pull this off. This was a massive undertaking, and we couldn’t have done it without the efforts of our office volunteers and dedicated warehouse staff.”

By combining their PPE needs into one large bid, participating school districts and private schools were able to secure safety items at a much lower price per item, resulting in significant savings.

“The ESD 112 staff went beyond the call of duty in helping provide PPE for our school district,” said Randy Russell, Superintendent of Freeman School District in Spokane County. “We are so thankful to the ESD 112 team’s tireless and collaborative work to help our district and so many others to prepare for the 2020-21 school year.”

The PPE order included the following items, which are being delivered to schools via ground transport:

  • Reusable cloth and disposable face coverings
  • Reusable face shields
  • Transparent masks
  • N95 masks and KN95 masks
  • Gloves
  • Hand sanitizer
  • No contact thermometers
  • Disinfecting wipes

“This has been a fascinating challenge,” said Greg Dobrinski, a logistics expert collaborating with ESD 112 to help coordinate the delivery process of the order. “With everything that’s going on it’s nice to know the kids will be safe, teachers will be safe, and, when the time is right, everyone can go back into schools.”