Technology has become a regular part of our daily lives both at home and at work. Technology is changing and growing each day, and it will continue to do so. Public education has a fundamental responsibility to bring technology to the classroom as a way to prepare students for the future. Technology has created richer and broader experiences for our students. It has advanced the ways in which students innovate, collaborate, investigate and think critically.
K-12 and post-secondary studies have demonstrated the advantages of wireless environments including:
- Increased access to digital resources
- Increased engagement of learning related activities
- Increased support to students
- Enhanced communication
- Increased collaborative learning in the classroom
A number of parents in York Region school communities have expressed concerns about wireless internet technology (Wi-Fi) deployed in Board schools and workplaces. In response to these concerns the Board initiated Wi-Fi emissions testing at typical sites, in cooperation with a reputable testing authority. The testing firm, Radiation Health and Safety Consulting, concluded that the RF and microwave electromagnetic field levels associated with Wi-Fi Aps in a representative sample of areas normally accessed by students and staff are a factor of at least 25 (times) below the exposure limits specified in Health Canada Safety Code 6 for "Persons Not Classed as RF and Microwave Exposed Workers (Including the General Public)." All the observed levels are far below exposure limits currently established or proposed by major international or national agencies.
The Board is sensitive to all parent concerns and when it comes to safety claims, the Board relies on the advice of public health authorities entrusted to act in the public good.
Neither York Region Community and Health Services, nor the Ontario Ministry of Health, nor Health Canada are of the opinion that WiFi is dangerous to human health. Should these organizations change their advice in the future, York Region District School Board will be fully prepared to respond appropriately.
Additional Resources and Information:
- Industry Canada Wi-Fi Study - Measurements of Radio Frequency Exposure from Wi-Fi Devices
- Summary of RF and Microwave Levels Associated with WiFi Access Points - Radiation Health and Safety Consulting
- It’s Your Health October 2011 edition on Safety of Wi-Fi equipment - Health Canada
- Frequently Asked Questions about WiFi - Health Canada