Superintendent: High Point classrooms are safe

Wantage. Teachers say they are concerned about the district’s heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems.

10 Nov 2020 | 01:35

Superintendent Scott Ripley assured High Point Regional High School’s teachers on Oct. 27 that the district’s classrooms are safe.

High Point Education Association President Carla Mancuso said 61 members expressed concern about the district’s heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems, which are known to spread airborne infections like COVID-19. Mancuso filed two Open Public Records Act (OPRA) requests with the district, one for HVAC maintenance logs and the second for HVAC Anemometer Logs. However, she said, the information she received was lacking.

Tina Palecek, the business administrator, said schools are not required to keep the anemometer logs.

Ripley said the school is safe. “The HVAC system is working as it should be,” Ripley said. “I don’t look to be contrary, but we have replied to OPRA requests indicating the rate of exchange from outside and each individual room meets the standards.”

Ripley said each room has an exchange rate that is equal or greater than the standards. He also said the state has been declared “safe to open” by the state. “For us to close would require we provided a detailed explanation for why we can’t open,” Ripley said.

The Centers for Disease Control advises employers: “Consider taking steps to improve ventilation in the building, in consultation with an HVAC professional, based on local environmental conditions (temperature/humidity) and ongoing community transmission in the area.”