Beverly Cleary K-8 School at Fernwood

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Beverly Cleary classrooms need more filtration capacity

Even with the Intellipure air purifiers running at their tolerable noise level (half speed):

✘ Classroom with the lowest airflow: Rooms 1 and 2?

Four classrooms at the Fernwood campus are missing measurements in PPS’s airflow report. But these rooms’ square footage is provided, and assuming a 10 foot ceiling, we can estimate the air changes the Intellipure’s are providing each hour. For rooms 1 and 2, it is:

         1.2 air changes per hour*

If the HVAC systems in these rooms provide no ventilation (a common occurrence in classrooms throughout the district), and the sole source of clean air is from the Intellipure, how long do kids’ and staff’s viruses in their respiratory aerosols linger in the air of rooms 1 and 2?

>1 hour and 55 minutes

At 1.2 air changes/hour, 1 hour 55 minutes is how long it takes for the HVAC system and Intellipure to clear out 90% of the respiratory aerosols being produced when kids and staff breathe, talk, sing, cough and sneeze.

The other two classrooms that were not measured, rooms 7 and 8, are only provided 1.4 air changes per hour from the Intellipure, if these rooms have 10 foot ceilings.

Beverly Cleary’s gym rooms (137 and 138) were measured by PPS, and they only get 1.1 and 1.2 air changes per hour.

✘ 1 more Beverly Cleary classrooms is between 2 and 3 air changes per hour

Room 220B gets only 2.6 air changes per hour. At 2.6 air changes per hour, it takes the HVAC system and Intellipure 53 minutes to clear 90% of the respiratory aerosols.

Beverly Cleary’s library also only get 2.3 air changes per hour.

✘ 19 classrooms are between 3 and 6 air changes per hour – all below recommendations

Only 3 classrooms have safe air with ventilation and filtration providing 6 air changes per hour or more, clearing 90% of aerosols out in 23 minutes or less.

Room 220A: 6.4***
Room 220C: 6.1
Room 204: 6.3

***Good airflow:
Just 22 minutes to clear out 90% of aerosols in room 220A

These three classrooms have good airflow, but they could be even better. At 12 air changes an hour, aerosols clear out by 90% in under 12 minutes.

About these ventilation and filtration measurements
Before resuming in-person learning in 2021, PPS had airflow testing conducted in every room of every PPS building. We have corrected gaps in Beverly Cleary’s airflow report as originally published by the district, to get this summary. We have also run numbers on one potential plan for Beverly Cleary adding Medify units that are being offered to schools by the Oregon Health Authority, if district personnel follow through on signing up to get them by April 28.

The Intellipure air purifiers are insufficient in Beverly Cleary classrooms

An Intellipure running at its tolerable noise level only provides 182 cubic feet of clean air per minute.  Even at its highest speed setting, which is too noisy, an Intellipure only provides 270 cubic feet of clean air per minute.

Beverly Cleary classrooms need additional, high quality air purifiers to provide safe air to kids now, when HVAC system overhauls will take the district years to do in all schools.

PPS staff need to order additional air purifiers for Beverly Cleary from the Oregon Health Authority by April 28

We did it! Thank you parents supporting safe indoor air! Thank you PPS and OHA staff and leaders!

The Oregon Health Authority first opened this program at the beginning of April, and at that time, PPS planned to order “no additional units.” But parents like you across our district organized with us to help district staff and leaders understand the need to take full advantage of this opportunity to obtain better air purifiers at no cost to PPS. The district announced initially that they would order only 600 units, but we have over 2600 classrooms in the district.

Parents in our network stepped up again, and our work paid off! PPS announced that they have placed an order for 3500 air purifiers.

We will see for sure how many of which models each school will get when the orders arrive, but we expect this to result in each classroom in the district either having two Medify air purifiers or one Intellipure and one Medify air purifier. And we hope the order will include the MA-1000s for gyms, cafeterias, large libraries, large music rooms and performance rooms, and other large communal spaces that serve students and staff. With both an Intellipure and a Medify, teachers can set the two air purifiers at a quiet speed, but still get more clean air delivered to the room than one Intellipure can deliver, even when it is set at it’s highest setting!

We’re not done working for cleaner classroom air, though. You can still join us below to learn more!

In our analysis that corrects gaps in PPS’s airflow report for Beverly Cleary, we have also analyzed one potential plan for adding Medify air purifiers from OHA.

Our analysis looks at what Medify’s would accomplish for ACH values across rooms at Beverly Cleary, if added to Beverly Cleary according to OHA’s guidelines from the webinar for this program.

See our full analysis and potential plan for Medify’s for Beverly Cleary here.

Highlights of our preliminary classification of providing Medify’s to Beverly Cleary using OHA’s suggestions for how to distribute them

4 Medify MA-50’s, 28 Medify MA-112’s, and 8 Medify MA-1000’s would:

  • Bring all 27 Beverly Cleary classrooms and the library to above 3 air changes an hour
  • Bring the auditorium up to 5.4 air changes an hour
  • Have classrooms ranging from 3.1 to 11.1 air changes per hour

When Oregon Health Authority announced their CDC-funded program to provide Oregon schools with free HEPA filters from Medify, our group of parents and community members supporting Safe Indoor Air For Oregon Schools were right in the middle of a push for PPS to budget for adding highly effective, whisper quiet, inexpensive air purifiers to classrooms that do not have the level of airflow we need. Units we were advocating for included Tower of Power (480 cubic feet of clean air per minute at a noise level you can barely hear) and the Owl Air (556 cubic feet of clean air per minute, also at a quiet noise level).

Medify’s do not have quite the high impact clean air delivery rate at such quiet levels as do the Tower of Power and Owl Air filters we demonstrated at the March 21 PPS school board meeting, but Medify’s are decent. Medify MA-112 – which OHA is offering for classrooms – provides 280 cubic feet of clean air per minute at a noise level that won’t distract from teaching in the classroom.

Medify MA-1000’s are being offered for our extra large school spaces. The MA-1000 units can add 1000 cubic feet of clean air per minute to school spaces that can sustain the noise they make at their highest speed setting. At Beverly Cleary, that would include the auditorium and the gym. If set at their quiet speed setting, the Medify MA-1000’s can also provide 565 cubic feet per minute to other large rooms. OHA is also offering Medify MA-50’s for small spaces like offices, nurse’s office, and conference rooms.

Adding Medify’s on top of the Intellipures would add substantial and much needed filtration capacity to Beverly Cleary and other elementary through 8th grade schools. At minimum, we need one additional air purifier for all 597* elementary, middle school, and K-8 classrooms which are below 3 air changes per hour and all 1111* kindergarten through 8th grade classrooms that get between 3 and 6 air changes per hour.

Join us in asking PPS and OHA to add these new filters while also maintaining the existing filtration capacity the Intellipures provide.

How can you help?

We need to make sure PPS and OHA provide more air purifiers to Beverly Cleary – Sign up to help advocate for PPS ordering these units and OHA granting them!

Let’s get more air filtration in the 5 Beverly Cleary classrooms that do not even get 3 changes of air per hour and the 19 classrooms that only get between 3 and 6! And let’s make sure Beverly Cleary’s cafeteria, where kids pack in close to eat lunch, and library and other key spaces get better air quality.

Join us to be part of a group of parents and community members advocating for strategic, effective, and science-based planning for sufficient ventilation and filtration capacity in PPS schools — including Beverly Cleary.

Sign up on our signup form to also help make a better proposed plan for Beverly Cleary. Facilities staff worked hard to get the Intellipures, but PPS left serious gaps in the ventilation and filtration in elementary, middle school, and K-8 schools across the district.

So we would like participation and feedback from more PPS community members – parents, family, and actual staff in our schools – on what spaces in each school are actually used for what, so that PPS kids and staff, including kids and staff at Beverly Cleary, get more of the quiet, effective filtration capacity that they need. Sign up below to join our organizing for PPS air quality!

*Notes on our numbers

Air changes per hour given here are “equivalent” and include ventilation and filtration.  These numbers are based on the district’s airflow report for Beverly Cleary, conducted in August 2021 (available at but corrected using specifications from the manufacturer of the Intellipure units to allow calculation of air changes per hour with the Intellipure at half speed instead of the district-provided air changes per hour with the Intellipure set at full speed.

Also, please note that the total classrooms across the district below 3 and between 3 and 6 are 597 / 1111 and counting…