Ventilation in Schools

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.


Measures to optimize ventilation in schools

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.


Ventilation Strategy

  • Ventilate schools with maximum outdoor air 1 hour before and after school occupancy.
  • HVAC systems are operating at maximum allowable outdoor air with affecting space comfort.
  • MERV-13 filters have been installed in all schools with mechanical ventilation systems.
  • Standalone portable HEPA air purifier units have been installed in all teaching spaces without mechanical ventilation, kindergarten classrooms, special education classrooms, and secondary school music classrooms.


See ventilation information for your school:


Board Investments

2020-21/2021-22/2022-23 School Years2023-2024 School Year
Ventilation Funding* $47 MPlanned Ventilation Funding $10.8 M
90 Ventilation projects completed21 Ventilation projects in progress/planned
110 Schools receiving an investment, which is 51% of total schools in the board25 Schools to receive an investment, which is 12% of 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


Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between mechanical and non-mechanical ventilation?

A mechanically ventilated school has a central air handling unit providing outdoor air to the classroom. A non-mechanically ventilated classroom relies on exhaust fans and operable windows for outdoor air ventilation.

What is a MERV13 filter?

MERV13 is a higher grade filter, typically used in health care settings.

What is a HEPA filter?

HEPA stands for High-Efficiency Particulate Air. The Ministry has required schools to place standalone HEPA purification units in classrooms without mechanical ventilation, isolation rooms and Kindergarten classes.


School Ventilation Information

Information is available on the ventilation systems for each of our schools.