As we prepare to welcome students back for the 2023-24 school year, we want to share an important update about health and safety measures in Waterloo Region District School Board (WRDSB) schools.

Health and Safety Measures

The Ministry of Education provides funding to school boards for the purpose of improving ventilation in schools. The WRDSB, in alignment with the direction of the Ministry, has prioritized this funding for:

  • Installation of the highest-grade filters possible in all HVAC systems
    • Specifically, MERV 13 filters
  • Replacement of HVAC filters on a more frequent basis
    • Increase from three times per year to five times per year
  • Operation of HVAC systems at least 2 hours before and after school occupancy
  • Maximizing air flow and fresh air intake in all HVAC systems
  • Completion of various ventilation projects to improve ventilation in schools
  • Placement of HEPA units in:
    • Kindergarten classrooms
    • ACE classrooms
    • Portables
    • Rooms with no or poor mechanical ventilation, including:
      • Classrooms
      • Gyms
      • Libraries
      • Lunchrooms
      • Child care spaces
      • Administrative spaces

Throughout the summer, Facility Services has been replacing the filters of HEPA units ahead of the upcoming school year.

Measures to prevent and control the spread of illness remain in place in all occupied learning spaces. These aim to protect staff, students and members of the school community. They include:

  • Cleaning high-touch surfaces daily
  • Encouraging screening, masking, proper respiratory etiquette and hand hygiene

Public Health continues to recommend masking in crowded, indoor spaces, especially for those at higher risk. Staff are encouraged to open windows when appropriate.

As we have throughout the last few years, we will continue to follow the direction of:

  • The Ministry of Education
  • The Ministry of Health
  • Region of Waterloo Public Health

We encourage parents and caregivers to take precautions to prevent illness and reduce the risk of spreading germs and viruses. Please know that we will continue to work closely with Region of Waterloo Public Health.