On November 27, 2020, the ministère de l’Éducation (MEQ) issued a report on school boards’ indoor air quality management plans which includes aspects of housekeeping, preventive maintenance of ventilation equipment, Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) management as well as their register for materials that may contain asbestos and radon. This report is based on documents that school boards have to file with the Ministry.
For Riverside School Board, however, a chain of unfortunate events linked to the electronic transmission of our documentations prevented our data from being included in the MEQ report. Please see the information below that should have been included in the MEQ’s report:
|% Progress on Housekeeping||% Progress on Ventilation||% Progress on Implementation |
of Electromechanical Maintenance Plan
|% Global Progress on Implementation of IAQ|
|% of Progress on |
Registered Material Likely to Contain asbestos
|% Progress on Radon Concentration Readings||% Progress on Installation of Cabon Monoxide Detectors|
Opening of windows
We would like to clarify our directives regarding the opening of windows in our schools. For schools that do not have mechanical ventilation, opening the windows is the best way to get fresh air into the classrooms. Material Resources sent recommendations to the schools as follows: Open windows for 15 minutes in the morning, at recess, lunch, afternoon recess, and at the end of the day when students are not in the class. However, please keep in mind that schools that have high windows, for teachers that also supervise recesses, for lunches that are taken in class, for rainy days, etc., it is possible that those directives cannot be followed to the letter, but Public Heath directives are always respected. Regardless, it is always better to open the windows during the day. Therefore, it could happen that windows are open when students are in class. We ask that students come to school with an extra layer, IN CASE windows need to be open when they are in class. Please know that our schools and teachers are doing their best for the students’ well-being.
We thank you for your understanding.
We would like to address the many questions and concerns that we received from parents regarding ventilation in our schools. Please find below the series of actions carried out in our establishments regarding ventilation. These procedures have been implemented since the beginning of the year in accordance with Public Health directives and recommendations from the INSPQ.
The vast majority of our Schools and Centres have windows that open so this is why we promote natural ventilation of the premises by opening them regularly (before class, during recess, during the lunch hour, or when students are attending gym classes, etc.). This practice is also the main recommendation of the INSPQ.
If classrooms have windows that do not open, it is because the school is equipped with a mechanical ventilation system. Please know that these systems are in good working order.
Monitoring of our Systems
Our Material Resources Team regularly monitors the condition of the ventilation systems in our Schools and Centres and performs ongoing maintenance. Notably, all ventilation system filters are regularly changed many times a year, surpassing the standards set by the manufacturers. In the context of the pandemic, not only are we continuing to monitor, but we have also extended the operating hours of the ventilation systems from operating them when the buildings are occupied to all the time (24/7) in order to promote the renewal of the air inside our buildings. In addition, we specifically check the mechanical components to ensure that the classrooms are well supplied.
In addition, you may have seen circulating in the media that the Ministry of Health plans to form a Panel of Experts that will include specialists from INSPQ and the Ministry of Health who will be making recommendations by the end of November, regarding, amongst other things, ventilation in schools. The recommendations from this Panel will be implemented in our communities, as will those already issued by INSPQ and Public Health.
We hope that these clarifications will ease concerns in regards to the ventilation in our Schools and Centres.
Our students’ and staff’s well-being is a priority.