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School Ventilation/HVAC and Air Quality

Updated Sept. 2, 2021,

Students, staff, parents and guardians can learn more about our Board’s strategy to optimize air quality through improved ventilation and filtration in schools, including a school-by-school ventilation report, by clicking on the link below and downloading the PVNC Ventilation Measures report.

The report includes all provincial funding allocated to PVNC to improve ventilation for the 2020-21 and 2021-22 school years, the total number of standalone high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter units deployed in schools and a school-by-school breakdown of the ventilation and filtration measures being utilized in each school, including the number of standalone HEPA filter units deployed.

Background

Improving ventilation and/or filtration in classrooms and learning environments is a key element in the multiple protective strategies to support healthy and safe learning environments for students and staff.

Over the summer months, PVNC has continued to focus on optimizing air quality in schools and classrooms, making improvements at specific schools such as replacing older portables and replacing or upgrading HVAC systems and installing HEPA units in classroom spaces that have either partial or no mechanical ventilation to improve air quality.

For schools with full mechanical ventilation, we will:

  • ensure that all ventilation systems have been inspected and are in good working order prior to the start of the school year
  • use the highest-grade filters possible, preferably MERV 13 filters
  • undertake frequent filter changes throughout the school year
  • operate ventilation systems two hours or more before and after school occupancy
  • calibrate HVAC systems for maximum air flow and increased fresh air intake

For schools or parts of schools without mechanical ventilation, we have placed standalone high efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter units in all classrooms and learning environments. These units ensure particle filtration of air and improve air exchange.