Heat Mitigation Strategies for Schools

Londonderry School District

Looking ahead at the weather forecast, we are anticipating unseasonably warm weather early next week. As such, the school district will be taking additional steps to ensure that students and staff remain as healthy and comfortable as possible.

First of all, the school district will be implementing an early release schedule for Monday June 7th and Tuesday, June 8th. Londonderry High School and Middle School will dismiss at 12:05 on those days, and our elementary schools will dismiss at 1:00pm. We will not have PM classes at Moose Hill those days as well. This early release schedule is for all our remote students too.

The shortened day will allow us to keep the buildings as cool as possible, while also using other measures. While a vast majority of our school buildings are not air conditioned, we will take the following steps to reduce the impact of unseasonably warm days for our staff and students:

  1. Creation of ‘cooling stations’ for mask breaks in larger areas, shaded outdoor areas, and any areas of buildings that are air conditioned.
  2. Relocation or reorganization of existing spaces to allow for 6’ spacing and the removal of masks during instructional time.
  3. Air flow in HVAC systems adjusted to maximize turnover of cooler air early morning and evening.
  4. Deployment of fans around the buildings, specifically in a manner consistent with updated CDC guidance.
  5. Providing students and staff with additional cool water and breaks during which to access it. All are encouraged to bring individual containers that may be refilled at either bottle-filling stations or water containers provided in each school.
  6. Use of larger spaces in the building, as well as tents outside, for socially distanced instructional areas in which students can remove their masks during instructional time.
  7. Students and staff are encouraged to use lighter weight face masks, including those disposable masks provided by the District that, while still approved means of protection, meet applicable standards for safety.

As always, if parents have concerns about the impact of the heat on their individual children, they may opt to have their students remain at home during this time and make up work upon their return.

We have reviewed these measures with health and safety officials from the Town, and they are in full support of this approach.

Updated NH DHHS Guidance on Facemasks Outdoors Only

In a presentation on June 2nd, the NH DHHS updated its guidance on facemasks outdoors. You can access the full presentation here.

NH DHHS states: “With levels of community transmission decreasing, we recommend that schools and childcare agencies can remove masks in outdoor settings (regardless of a person’s vaccination status), including at recess and during non-contact sports.

  • NH DPHS still recommends physical distancing between children/students, to the extent possible.”

As has been the case the entire school year, we follow the guidance from NH DHHS. All of our schools will work to apply this update to all of our end of the year activities outside and work with families and students on their personal choices around facemasks while they are outside.

This same document continued to recommend facemasks inside the classroom as they have done all year. We have consulted with town officials on that continued recommendation and they agree with this guidance. You can access the full presentation here.

“NH DPHS continues to recommend face mask use and physical distancing in indoor settings where unvaccinated groups are gathering and potentially within 6 feet of others for a prolonged period of time.

To reiterate earlier communications, we have made no plans around reopening for the next school year in terms of facemasks and other mitigation strategies. We are waiting for both the CDC and the NH DHHS to provide their guidance.