The Waterloo Education Foundation Inc. is the charitable foundation of Waterloo Region District School Board. It has launched a HEPA Filter Fund. So far, the foundation has raised over $11,000, the goal is to reach $18,000.
The fund allows parents to donate to the additional portable HEPA filtration units if they wish to contribute financially.
"This is an additional layer we have heard from parents' desire to contribute. In addition, we have listened to parents' willingness to put additional HEPA units in our classrooms," said Matthew Gerard, coordinating superintendent, business services and treasurer of the board, WRDSB. The campaign is meant to address the concerns from the community and to provide the best mechanism possible to allow for those parents to contribute and offer financial support to put those additional units in.
He noted that not all HEPA filters units are created equally. Each classroom will require specific specifications in this units, which is why it isn't needed in every school classroom.
"A lot of our classroom spaces have mechanical ventilation, and when we have mechanical ventilation, we don't need filtration units."
The province has provided the board with 1080 units, and 70 units are on the way. Gerard noted that all full-day Kindergarten classrooms and Alternative Continuum of Education (ACE) classrooms now have a portable HEPA filtration unit. They are working on supplying other spaces within the schools that need a filtration unit.
"We are asking that parents, caregiver families students who have concerns about ventilation in their classroom reach out to their teachers and principals. The principals will work with facility services and the health and safety service about employing the additional units based on those requests and will fill those asap."
The campaign is open until the end of the school year, but the charity will leave it open as long as it needs to be. You can click here to donate.