PEI

No relief for Summerside school ventilation problems

Parents of students at Parkside Elementary School in Summerside are frustrated to learn the school will not be getting a new ventilation system.

Tests show high levels of Carbon Dioxide at Parkside Elementary

Parents were hoping Parkside Elementary school would get a new ventilation system. (CBC)

Parents of students at Parkside Elementary School in Summerside are frustrated to learn the school will not be getting a new ventilation system.

In January, tests revealed carbon dioxide levels in the building were high. The problem is the result of renovations years ago that left the school with small windows that barely open, and some that don’t open at all.

This week, the government told the school a new ventilation system would be too expensive and time consuming. The school then sent a letter to parents, asking them to weigh in on two options to improve the problem.

"We need to make sure our children are healthy, to learn the best," said Sandra Hall of the Parkside Home and School Association. "We’ve been asked to try and make the best of a worst situation, and find the best options."

The options include maintaining status quo, which means opening all the windows and doors four times a day.

That isn’t ideal for Leisa Schurman-Smith, who is also a member of the Home and School Association.

Parkside Elementary School Prinicipal Janet Cameron demonstrates the problem with the small windows. (CBC)

"There were days my daughter came home and would tell me it was freezing because they had the windows open," Schurman-Smith said.

The other option is to free up some space by moving three classes of grade 5 and 6 students to the Intermediate School next door.

But neither the Home and School Association nor the teachers like that idea.

"The culture in junior high is a little different than the culture in elementary, and it’s not the best solution," said Hall.

"Certainly we don’t want to isolate our students," said Principal Janet Cameron. "We’re a very close-knit school."

The Western School Board is holding a meeting for parents to weigh in on the problem next Monday before a final decision is made.

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