Dear ConVal Families,
With snow in the forecast for Friday, we are writing today to provide an update on the use of outdoor classrooms and the work we’ve done to prepare all the buildings in the districts for students to move indoors to continue their learning.
Students have been able to utilize outdoor learning over the past couple of months in order to allow for a safe, in-person learning environment as we prepared our buildings for the winter months. However, with snow and colder weather in the forecast for this week, the tents, which cannot withstand a snow load, will likely begin to come down this week and students will begin to learn indoors in the next couple of days. When weather permits teachers may continue to take students outdoors for learning activities.
Knowing that the chance of inclement weather occurring was likely to be sooner rather than later, we have been working expeditiously over the last few weeks to prepare our buildings for a return to indoor learning for all students.
Over the last two weeks, the Lawson Group performed an independent evaluation of all HVAC systems in the district in order to ensure the buildings are in compliance with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) ventilation guidelines for schools as the fight against COVID-19 goes on. We have made enhancements to the HVAC systems in all school buildings for the 2020-21 school year, which include:
- Installing ionization units in the ductwork of all HVAC units in the district, which emit positive and negative ions that kill mold, bacteria and viruses, greatly improving air quality.
- Maximizing outside air circulation throughout the day for all classrooms and school wings so air changes in classroom spaces and within the school approximately four to seven times per hour. This programming will start up and shut down three hours before school starts and four hours after school ends for the day, respectively.
- Installing upgraded filters which capture particles in a variety of sizes, including many viruses and allergens. This was done by installing new MERV 11 filters that capture 65-79% of particulate 1-3 microns in size and at least 85% of particulate 3-10 microns in size and larger.
We are proud of the incredible work Director of Facilities Tim Grossi, our HVAC specialist Keith Lee and the facilities team has done to complete this work prior to our students returning to indoor learning spaces. It is a prime example of our commitment to continually prioritizing the health and safety of our students, staff and their families, which has been and will continue to be a top priority in all of our decisions.