Letter to SB, November 10th, 2021
To: the Heath Select Board
Here is information regarding Bob Gruen’s question about the use of classrooms at 18 Jacobs Road before the ventilation had been repaired.
The standard for ventilation used by the town for learning hubs was one that was set by MTRSD [Mohawk Trail Regional School District] and DESE [Department of Elementary and Secondary Education] for students sharing remote learning space. The school gym was approved for use as a learning hub by the Superintendent of MTRSD and the Community Hall was also approved, as long as windows could be kept open. On the basis of the Superintendent’s approval, the Select Board voted to approve both the former school and the Community Hall for educational use, as long as the windows at the Community Hall could be kept open. *
The use of the Art Room by Tri-wire is not subject to DESE and district standards for ventilation. The standards for Tri-Wire's use of classroom space are the same as those which allowed us to continue to use the office space at Sawyer Hall, which also lacks mechanical ventilation, to conduct town business. It’s possible, under these standards, that Tri-Wire could have rented Community Hall for their purposes, but that is not the space they requested.
Finally, it is true that the Learning Hub used some classrooms before the ventilation was repaired, but only for one household or family pod per classroom. In other words, the classrooms were not used for shared learning space. They were used for individual learning space.
* In the end, you will recall, the Community Hall was not used for educational purposes first, because of fire code violations and then because of the lack of adequate internet access. Northeast IT refused to boost the free WIFI signal at the Hall because it would have put the security of the town’s data at greater risk. According to their contract they may not do anything that increases the security risk to the town’s data.
—Pam Porter, Manager of Remote Learning Hub
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