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Air Filter Issues Delay Classroom Learning For Essex County School District

Columbia High School
Columbia High School Photo Credit: Google Maps

Air filter issues are keeping Essex County students out of the classroom.

Vents in each classroom in the Maplewood-South Orange School District should have been updated with filters containing a Merv 16 rating, Superintendent of Schools Dr. Donald Taylor said Tuesday, Oct. 27.

The filters were never installed, though.

"Our thorough investigation revealed that while much work toward the reopening of our schools was completed (removal of carpet, installation of hand sanitizer stations, mitigation of signage, plexiglass installation, etc.) an important component was not completed, despite having been verified as successfully finalized,” Taylor wrote.

"Filters were not installed as had been reported throughout all District classrooms. In fact, the vendor was not contacted until after verification paperwork was submitted to the District."

While the filters are inexpensive and can be installed quickly, they are in high-demand, Taylor said.

The district is hoping for a Jan. 19, 2021 return to in-person learning.

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