Upper Grand School Board prepares for return to class

The Upper Grand District School Board is working to ensure a safe learning and working environment as schools reopen. The UGDSB will continue to require that students in all grades (Junior Kindergarten to Grade 12+) follow masking requirements in school and on school vehicles. Protective strategies around screening, hand hygiene and physical distancing will continue to be followed at all schools and sites.

The UGDSB is continuing its work optimizing air quality in classrooms and learning environments through improving ventilation and filtration. Upgrades to ventilation and filtration systems began in the 2020-21 school year and will continue for the 2021-22 school year. A media release reported all UGDSB schools have full or partial mechanical ventilation, with the vast majority of schools having full  mechanical ventilation. Prior to the start of the school year, the board will assess all school ventilation systems to ensure they are in good working order, and will follow best practices in the inspection and maintenance of ventilation and filtration systems for full mechanical and partial mechanical systems.

In addition to the provincial requirements of placing standalone High Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filtration units in all classrooms and learning spaces without mechanical ventilation and in each kindergarten classroom, the UGDSB will go beyond the provincial requirements by placing a HEPA unit in every classroom in Grades 1-8 as well classrooms that run the UGDSB’s life skills (Developmentally Delayed) classes (elementary and secondary). As an additional measure beyond the provincial requirements for ventilation, the UGDSB will be conducting carbon dioxide (CO2) testing in schools. This process was started in the 2020-21 school year and will be continued in the 2021-22 school year. In order to ensure that the ventilation system is working properly and to find out where we may have to supplement air quality by providing filtration equipment (e.g. HEPA filtration units), the UGDSB is choosing to actively measure the CO2 levels in classrooms while
they are occupied.

The UGDSB will also publish detailed school-level information about ventilation and air quality measures on the board website by Sept. 3, 2021.

This week, the UGDSB shared important information about School Operations for the 2021-22 school year with families, staff and students: www.ugdsb.ca/2021.