MAU union seeking update on ventilation systems

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BENNINGTON — The faculty union at Mount Anthony Union High School is seeking more information from administration officials about plans to address ventilation issues in numerous sections of the school campus, highlighted in a recent report.

Educators from the school were expected to raise ventilation and related issues during a special MAU Board meeting Wednesday evening.

Meaghan Morgan-Puglisi, the union representative at the school, said there also are COVID-19-related concerns about "a lack of clearly communicated protocols regarding the complexity of returning to learning in-person."

The Southwest Vermont Supervisory Union schools began the year Sept. 8 working remotely, she said, and there now are approximately a dozen students in the school who have special educational needs better addressed in a in-person classroom setting.

But roughly 200 ninth grade students are currently scheduled to begin coming to school Sept. 28, she said, and the situation regarding COVID-19 apparently is to be re-evaluated every two weeks to determine whether other students can return to the classroom

Ventilation issues are a primary concern "due to the most up to date reports in the scientific community on the airborne spread of COVID," stated a letter sent to the MAU Board, SVSU Superintendent Jim Culkeen and high school Principal Stephen Nixon.

The letter adds that on Aug. 6, "Energy Efficient Investments Inc. completed a ventilation review and found insufficient ventilation in multiple locations on the Mt. Anthony Union High School campus ... ."

This story will be updated.

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