Whereas the COVID-19 pandemic brings unprecedented challenges in keeping our scholars, educators and families safe; and

Whereas the Cambridge Public Schools face many unknowns about how the virus works which complicate district planning efforts; and

Whereas one thing that is known is that COVID-19 is more easily transmitted in indoor spaces with low air flow; and

Whereas Cambridge buildings vary in age and HVAC systems; and

Whereas the CPSD administration has measured air quality in each school building and made plans to mitigate problem areas; and

Whereas the carbon dioxide measures will be substantially different when classrooms and other school spaces are occupied for a number of hours than during summer vacation; and

Whereas experts recommend increasing outdoor air ventilation (by keeping at least two windows open at all times and two fans pushing air in and out) and filtering indoor air to MERV 13 or higher; and

Whereas many school bathrooms will require retrofitting such as adding toilet lids and exhaust fans; and

Whereas transparent building and room data will reduce rational anxiety amongst Cambridge school communities; now therefore be it

Resolved that, prior to families and teachers being asked to commit to hybrid or in-person plans, and before instruction begins inside buildings, the Cambridge Public School Department will engage a HVAC and respiratory pathogen expert to review the current system and make recommendations; and be it further

Resolved that the district will provide public school-by-school data on the baseline air ventilation and quality in individual school rooms, the planned frequency of air quality testing, and the timing and types of mitigations for rooms requiring improvements.


School Committee Actions

Action Action Date Reconsidered By Referred to Subcommitee
08/04/2020 Referred to Subcommittee
08/04/2020 Adopted as Amended
08/04/2020 Adopted

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