Ventilation improvements at OCSB schools

As we continue to respond to the impact of the pandemic, we know parents have questions about school in September, particularly around health and safety for in-person learning. Parents can rest assured knowing that all of our schools have effective ventilation systems in place and continue to be safe spaces for your child to learn, play and grow.

Your child’s safety and well-being remain a top priority at the Ottawa Catholic School Board and we want to keep you up to date on the improvements we’re making to ensure your child will be safe for in-person learning this fall.

Unique improvements at every school

As every school facility is unique, the improvements vary from school to school. Through funding from the federal and provincial governments, OCSB schools are receiving improvements to adapt to the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.

Ministry funding for ventilation and how the OCSB has put it to work

The OCSB has invested in significant enhancements to our existing ventilation systems including additional inspections, maintenance, controls upgrades and more frequent filter replacements. In addition to these enhancements, we also have deployed over 1000 HEPA filter units throughout our school board. The HEPA filter units have been placed in schools to add air movement and disinfection in spaces like kindergarten classrooms, health isolation rooms, staff lunchrooms and classrooms with medically fragile students.

2020-2021 School Year

Ventilation Funding: $8.6M

Ventilation projects completed:

  • 70 Ventilation projects completed
  • 100% of OCSB schools received an investment

2021-2022 School Year

Ventilation Funding: $5.5M

Ventilation projects in progress or planned:

  • 46 ventilation projects in progress or planned
  • 20 Schools to receive an investment

Our ventilation strategy

  • All our schools have had their mechanical ventilation systems assess to optimize air exchanges per hour
  • Enhanced maintenance, testing and commissioning of ventilation equipment at all OCSB schools
  • Capital investments to replace ageing rooftop mechanical equipment
  • Installation of 225 unit ventilators in portable classrooms to provide fresh air ventilation and air conditioning
  • Installation of 200 ceiling circulation fans in classrooms that incorporate UV-C light technology

Examples of what you can expect at every school:

  • Hand sanitizer stations at school and classroom entrances
  • Directional signage on floors
  • Plastic guards in areas where minimum distancing cannot be maintained
  • Enhanced touchpoint cleaning and disinfection by our caretaking staff

Examples of school-specific improvements:

  • Ventilation upgrades to central HVAC equipment
  • HEPA air filter machine in rooms requiring additional ventilation rates and where distancing cannot be maintained, such as kindergarten rooms, special education rooms, isolation rooms and staff lunchrooms,
  • UV-C ceiling fans in classrooms without central HVAC
  • Wall-mounted unit ventilators in portables including A/C upgrade
  • Touchless water bottle filling stations and washroom fixtures being added at selected sites
  • Enhanced maintenance of HVAC equipment with additional filter changes and optimization of fresh air intake during occupied periods

See the improvements at your child’s school

Find your child’s school using the search box below to see what upgrades are taking place at your school.

**Download the full document we sent to the ministry here

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