Enhanced health and safety measures in UGDSB schools
For Immediate Release
August 20, 2021
GUELPH, Ontario – The Upper Grand District School Board is looking forward to welcoming staff and students back to school this fall, and welcoming new families to the board. A key priority of the UGDSB is ensuring a safe learning and working environment as schools reopen.
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.
The following are some highlights of the health and safety protocols and enhancements that will be in place in UGDSB schools.
Protective strategies around screening, hand hygiene and physical distancing will continue to be followed at all schools and sites.
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. This requirement extends beyond the provincial legislative guidance of mandatory masking for students in grades 1-12.
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.
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.
For more information about the UGDSB’s health and safety protocols and enhancements, please visit the Student and Family Guide webpage at www.ugdsb.ca/2021.
About the Upper Grand District School Board
The Upper Grand District School Board serves more than 35,000 students through 65 elementary schools and 11 secondary schools in the City of Guelph, County of Wellington and County of Dufferin. The UGDSB covers the ancestral and traditional territories of the Mississaugas of the Credit, the Six Nations of the Grand River, and Saugeen Ojibway Nation Territories. Student success is the goal of over 4,000 dedicated teaching and support staff who are aided by the contributions of caring volunteers and community partners.
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