As repairs and improvements are made in our schools, the school-level ventilation reports that are posted online here will change. Certified air balancers are retesting the impacted areas and updating the ventilation reports as new results are available. That’s why some schools that previously had zero occupancy levels in some rooms now have higher air flow and occupancy numbers.
Here are just a few examples of work that has successfully been completed over the past few days to support fresh air flow in schools as we prepare to safely welcome back staff and students in phases for in-person teaching and learning:
- At General Philip Kearny School, the mechanical house fan that provides ventilation throughout the school was recommissioned, making it fully operational with no need for window fans. Air balance testing has been conducted in each room, and the updated report will be available in the next few days.
- The HVAC system has been fully repaired at Joseph W. Catharine School so window fans will no longer be needed. Rooms that previously had a zero or low occupancy number have been retested, and the updated report is being generated.
- Contractors completed ventilation repairs at South Philadelphia HS, and recommissioned a large exhaust fan that supports hallways in the school.
- At Comegys and Pollock, univents were adjusted in classrooms to increase the circulation of fresh air. New air balance testing has been conducted to update occupancy levels, and the report will be posted this week.
Remember, proper ventilation continues to be just one of the layers of safety that will be in place in all of our school district buildings as we prepare to slowly and safely return to in-person learning. The Pennsylvania and Philadelphia Departments of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have consistently emphasized the importance of having multiple layers of safety — such as mandatory mask wearing, social distancing, and frequent hand washing — in place to protect everyone’s health and well-being during the COVID-19 pandemic. The science is clear. When these layers of safety are in place, the risk of transmission in schools is quite low.
To learn more about our ventilation efforts and all of our health and safety plans, please visit www.philasd.org/aes.