Fiscal Year 2023 → Question 1
We continue to implement indoor air quality measures consistent with both the Centers for Disease Control and the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers. The American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers is a professional association seeking to advance heating, ventilation, air conditioning, and refrigeration systems design and construction.
These measures taken include a focus on ventilation, increases in air filtering efficiencies, and exploring opportunities for outdoor activities, including lunch. To date, we have installed 7,250 air cleaning devices in classrooms and have installed, replaced, and maintained more than 93,000 high efficiency filters, including minimum efficiency reporting value 13 and high-efficiency particulate absorbing filters.
We have deployed a team to visit schools, and perform carbon dioxide (CO2) testing as an additional measure to ensure systems are operating effectively. These inspections and tests have led to continued adjustments to our systems to maintain safe environments. To ensure that these standards and conditions continue to be met, we have reorganized to allow for a dedicated preventative maintenance team to visit each school a minimum of once a week to inspect systems and change filters.
It is important to note that we have continued our work and collaborate with outside experts as well as partnering with the Health and Wellness committee of the Montgomery County Council of Parent Teacher Associations, Inc.
We will be implementing a pilot project to collect data in both classroom spaces as well as common space areas such as the cafeteria and gymnasium. This pilot will include partnerships with students, staff, administrators, and parents and is intended to guide our district in expanding this type of space condition assessment as well as inform best practices in communicating this information. We expect our monitoring of CO2, as well as the pilot, to help guide and influence future decisions related to space use, indoor/outdoor eating, and other program and facility functions.
In the short-term, we are partnering with individual schools and communities to review facility-specific opportunities to improve current practices related to our building use. These include areas such as breakfast and lunch, and Pre-Kindergarten and special education operations, and the immediate steps that can improve ventilation, airflow, and space conditions in the areas where these functions occur.