Ventilation system or lack there of

Really?? So we pay enormous taxes to have the best schools for our kids and this happens how is this possible. Who will be held accountable? 


A few things.  First, for years people have voted against everyone who proposed a tax increase, so of course our infrastructure is outdated and hasn't been maintained.  Second, it looks like someone in the district wasn't straight with the boss, and should be held accountable.  Third, outside if the filters they have been doing a lot of work to prepare the schools.  Fourth, the way covid is spreading right now I think they would have had to cancel the return anyway.  Fifth, lots of other districts are in similar straits.  This is not an easy problem.


I never thought there was a realistic chance kids would go back to school in November. The timing doesn't make sense at all for several reasons.

However, whoever is in charge of Facilities should be fired. It sounds like they completely misled the Superintendent on the status of the filters.  And the BOE needs to step up and demonstrate some leadership.


Mislead?  I think the word should actually be “lied.”   It’s one thing if they fell behind schedule, but to lie and say they’re all installed?  That’s just wrong.  And what if no one had thought to double check the work and students and staff were brought in for in person instruction?


Any ideas out there what the letter means when it says that the 1,000 univents “will need to be reviewed and reassessed to ensure all units have been updated” with Merv 16 filters — but that “additionally, the univents are only capable of using a filter with a maximum Merv 8 rating”?


My interpretation:  The existing univents and the desired filters are not compatible. The existing univents have to be replaced (upgraded?) to enable Merv 16 rated filters to work effectively.  It would be helpful to see the actual contract specifications for the job to know for sure.


joan_crystal said:

My interpretation:  The existing univents and the desired filters are not compatible. The existing univents have to be replaced (upgraded?) to enable Merv 16 rated filters to work effectively.  It would be helpful to see the actual contract specifications for the job to know for sure.

That’s what it appears to imply. Yet the next sentence says, “We have had extensive conversations with our vendor and have been informed that the filters are inexpensive and can be quickly installed once received.” Then there’s a mention of repairing motors and blowers, but nothing about making 1,000 univents compatible with Merv 16 filters.

This, too, is hard for me to decipher: “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.” Contacted about what? That the filters were supposed to be Merv 16? Or is the letter saying the verification paperwork was submitted before the work even started?

Maybe it’s just me, but that letter could have been clearer, even given the restrictions on personnel details.


The hints of incompetence and poor communication relative to this contract management (and the confusing communication about the issues experienced) seem to reflect ongoing issues this district has with implementation and communication in general. 


I find sometimes SOMA school district announcements/communications appear to have been written by someone who does not have English as a first language and struggles with translation and sentence structure. It is both disheartening and disappointing. Don’t these written pieces get run by more than one person before being distributed to the public? Seems like more eyes and more careful edits would benefit all. These news pieces are way too important to leave interpretation up to the reader, in my opinion. 


Heynj said:

I find sometimes SOMA school district announcements/communications appear to have been written by someone who does not have English as a first language and struggles with translation and sentence structure. It is both disheartening and disappointing. Don’t these written pieces get run by more than one person before being distributed to the public? Seems like more eyes and more careful edits would benefit all. These news pieces are way too important to leave interpretation up to the reader, in my opinion. 

SOMSD had a Director of Strategic Communications, Suzanne Turner, who left in early 2019.  I'm not sure if she was replaced.  She was in the role for about 7 years and communications from the district did not seem to improve.


One thing that many here are not considering is that construction and project management for the district are not usually handled in house.  We pick a superintendent based on how we hope he or she will do when it comes to education.  Their training is focused, I hope, on students and faculty.  Dealing with a pandemic is a new challenge.

As far as filters, think about your home central ac if you have it.  Putting a much finer filter on your return is easy, but it may overload and burn out your blower motor as it works to pull air through.  So in order to make our systems capable of handling merv 16 filters instead of merv 8 may require essentially new systems.


FilmCarp said:

One thing that many here are not considering is that construction and project management for the district are not usually handled in house.  We pick a superintendent based on how we hope he or she will do when it comes to education.  Their training is focused, I hope, on students and faculty.  Dealing with a pandemic is a new challenge.

As far as filters, think about your home central ac if you have it.  Putting a much finer filter on your return is easy, but it may overload and burn out your blower motor as it works to pull air through.  So in order to make our systems capable of handling merv 16 filters instead of merv 8 may require essentially new systems.

There is someone within the district that is in charge of facilities.  I assume it's their job to coordinate with outside contractors/project managers.

We choose a Superintendent based on their educational vision but also on leadership.  If the Superintendent is not a good leader, we are doomed.


FilmCarp said:

So in order to make our systems capable of handling merv 16 filters instead of merv 8 may require essentially new systems.

That makes sense, but the letter says both that Merv 16 filters are incompatible and that they can be quickly installed once received. It goes on to say the system repair/replacement is part of the bonded construction project, which I took to be in the future. Maybe, instead, that means they’re moving up the installation? Again, it’s not clear.


DaveSchmidt said:

That makes sense, but the letter says both that Merv 16 filters are incompatible and that they can be quickly installed once received. It goes on to say the system repair/replacement is part of the bonded construction project, which I took to be in the future. Maybe, instead, that means they’re moving up the installation? Again, it’s not clear.

 I'm really sorry, but this is not COVID related. This is incompetence and a lack of oversight. Our District loses so much money year after year with lawsuits. More money is spent reacting to issues and not anticipating problems. Money that should go to our kids.




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