Continuing our commitment to ensure schools remain a safe and healthy place for staff and students, the Waterloo Region District School Board (WRDSB) has made significant improvements to ventilation and filtration systems, including upgrades to ventilation infrastructure, deployment of standalone HEPA filter units and other ventilation devices. 

Working closely with the Ministry, and utilizing available provincial, federal and Board of Trustees approved funding, the WRDSB Facilities department has been implementing several effective strategies and ventilation improvement measures to help reduce the spread of COVID-19

School Board Ventilation Profile

School boards are optimizing air quality in schools through improved ventilation and filtration. Implemented measures are dependent on the type of ventilation and feasibility within the context of school facilities and related building systems.

This is a key element in the multiple protective strategies being employed to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission and support healthier and safe learning environments for students and staff.

Measures to Help Reduce Transmission Risk in Indoor Settings

Ventilation: Increasing the flow of outdoor/fresh air for diluting the concentration of any infectious particles.
Filtration: Involves the use of different types of fibrous media designed to remove particles from the airstream.

School Board Ventilation Strategy

  • Upgrade all HVAC filters to MERV 13 or highest-grade filter possible and change 5 times per year.
  • Assess and fine-tune all Mechanical Ventilation systems Board wide as well as maximize fresh air intake and minimize recirculation air in all HVAC systems.
  • Execute Mechanical Ventilation upgrade projects in all teaching and non-teaching spaces where required.
  • Install HEPA units in all teaching and non-teaching spaces without Mechanical Ventilation plus install HEPA units in all FDK rooms and ACE classrooms.

School Board Wide Investments

2020-2021/2021-2022 School Year

Ventilation Funding*: $40.5 M

2022-2023 School Year

Ventilation Funding*: $12.2 M

86 Ventilation Projects Completed 26 Ventilation Projects in Progress/Planned
60 Schools receiving an investment, which is 48% of the total schools in the Board 23 Schools to receive an investment which is 18% of the total schools in the Board

Note:* This includes spending from dedicated ventilation programs, federal-provincial funding, provincial renewal funding and supplemental funding from other Board sources.

Standalone HEPA filter units deployed | 3504

View the WRDSB Ventilation Report