Oak Hill Academy in Dallas, Texas, is a non-profit center of education and growth for students who learn differently and might struggle in traditional classrooms.
The Academy caters for as many as 175 full time students, from preschool through high school, offering hands-on, project based learning with state-of-the-art technology. The campus is half indoors and half outdoors, with an average student teacher ratio of 6:1.
“The pandemic could have been a complete showstopper”, says Joy Laukoter, Community Affairs Coordinator at Oak Hill Academy. “Our kids are special and can’t be taught remotely, they rely on a personal approach, with face-to-face nurturing. That’s how we help them to understand, accept and overcome their individual challenges.”
Four students and seven staff members contracted Covid, which was a major concern. However, staff and parents alike were keen to continue for the sake of the children, who are diagnosed with processing disorders, speech-language delays, sensory needs and spectrum disorders. Precautions had to be taken to mitigate the risk of transmission, the biggest risk being larger gatherings, a key part of the curriculum as social development is critical for children with diagnosed learning difficulties.
After the CDC acknowledged that Covid spreads mainly through the air, rather than from contaminated surfaces, Oak Hill acquired a Rensair air purifier for use during events where as many as 30 students typically gather together in the library. The portability of the unit proved to be a distinct advantage, enabling it to be wheeled in and out of different rooms and simply plugged in and switched on at point of use.
“Rensair is making a big difference”, says School Nurse Karen Matlack. “It’s easy to maneuver and, despite delivering strong air circulation, none of our teachers find the noise level intrusive. Since Rensair arrived, we’ve had no more cases of Covid. The domino effect has gone and, although we remain cautious, everyone feels reassured. Thank you, Rensair!”
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