Faubion K-8 School

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Faubion classrooms need more filtration capacity

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

✘ Classroom with the lowest airflow: Science room 303

         0.7 air changes per hour*

With ventilation & filtration this low, how long do kids’ and staff’s viruses in their respiratory aerosols linger in room 303’s air?

>3 hours and 17 minutes

At 0.7 air changes/hour, 3 hours 17 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.

✘ One more Faubion classroom has less than 2 air changes per hour

Room 205 has only 1.9 air changes per hour, corresponding to the HVAC system and Intellipure taking 1 hour 13 minutes to clear out 90% of aerosols.

✘ 12 classrooms are between 2 and 3 air changes per hour & 29 more are between 3 and 6 – all below recommendations

No classrooms at Faubion have sufficiently safe air provided by PPS — no classrooms have ventilation and filtration providing 6 air changes per hour or more, clearing 90% of aerosols out in 23 minutes or less.

Only one classroom is even above 5 air changes per hour. Let alone classrooms that are even better by providing closer to 12 air changes an hour, where aerosols would clear out by 90% in under 12 minutes.

The 12 Faubion classrooms that are between 2 and 3 air changes per hour – their HVAC system and Intellipure let aerosols linger for over 45 minutes. And the 28 classrooms between 3 and 5 let aerosols linger for at least half an hour.

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 Faubion’s airflow report as originally published by the district, to get this summary. We have also run numbers on one potential plan for Faubion 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 Faubion 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.

Faubion 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 Faubion 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 Faubion, 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 Faubion, if added to Faubion according to OHA’s guidelines from the webinar for this program.

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

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

3 Medify MA-50’s, 51 Medify MA-112’s, and 9 Medify MA-1000’s would:

  • Bring all 42 of 43 Faubion classrooms to above 3 air changes an hour (however, the science classroom with the lowest airflow would only increase to 1.6 air changes per hour)
  • Bring the library up from 0.7 to 1.2 air changes each hour, if the library is provided the powerful MA-1000 set at it’s quiet speed
  • Bring the cafeteria up to 4.6 air changes per hour
  • Bring the large gym up to 2.2
  • Have classrooms ranging from 2.2 to 8.1 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 CleanAirKits.com 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 Faubion, that would include the gym and cafeteria. If set at their quiet speed setting, the Medify MA-1000’s would also provide 565 cubic feet per minute to Faubion’s large library. OHA is also offering Medify MA-50’s for small spaces like offices, nurse’s offices, and conference rooms.

Adding Medify’s on top of the Intellipures would add substantial and much needed filtration capacity to Faubion 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 Faubion – Sign up to help advocate for PPS ordering these units and OHA granting them!

Let’s get more air filtration in the 14 Faubion classrooms that do not even get 3 changes of air per hour and the 29 classrooms that only get between 3 and 6! And let’s make sure Faubion’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 Faubion.

Sign up on our signup form to also help make a better proposed plan for Faubion. 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 Faubion, 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 Faubion, conducted in August 2021 (available at tinyurl.com/faubionairflow) 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…