Ready to Return? Campus Assessments Prepare California Schools to Reopen Safely

By: Brian Hood (Senior Vice President)

For months now, the dilemma of whether the threat of the novel coronavirus outweighs the setbacks many are experiencing with remote learning has been difficult to reconcile. Overall, most districts will be providing students with the option to return to in-person learning sometime this fall and in preparation, have implemented extensive protocols for keeping campuses clean and safe.

Indoor air quality is a key factor in the health of a building and its occupants. Earlier this year, LEAF Engineers released Building Well, which provided recommendations for optimizing mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems for wellness. Our engineers also worked with the Coalition for Adequate School Housing (CASH) on their Healthy School Recommendations document, published this summer.

This fall, we have been assisting districts in applying these recommendations for their campuses’ specific building systems. During the month of September, our California and Texas teams have combined resources to survey hundreds of campuses, assessing readiness for students’ return to school later this fall.

The surveys involve reviewing existing HVAC equipment condition and operation, filtration and outside air damper control as well as building water flushing and collecting air sampling data.

The information gathered will be submitted by the districts to the Governor’s office as part of their current readiness plans, showing they are ready to have staff and students return to campus. For more information on these readiness assessments, contact LEAF Engineers at 1-800-938-7272.

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