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Coalition of San Antonio students, teachers say many schools not ready for face-to-face instruction

Some educators ’are warning that their schools are not equipped to meet the challenge’

SAN ANTONIO – A day before campuses are tasked by the state with reopening their doors to students for face-to-face instruction, the San Antonio Coalition on School Reopening says some are not appropriately equipped during the COVID-19 age.

The coalition, which consists of students, parents, community members, teachers and nonprofit organizations, states “many” educators “are warning that their schools are not equipped to meet the challenge.”

That includes the lack of personal protective equipment (PPE) and air condition filters, and aged HVAC systems.

The coalition on Monday released a letter addressed to city and district leaders, calling for campuses to become equipped with proper ventilation and PPE for staff.

During a demonstration on Monday, Wanda Longoria, the president of the Northside American Federation of Teachers, said it is critical for districts to allocate funding to improve systems for healthy air quality.

“As you’ve heard, some of our buildings are very old,” she said during the demonstration. “We know even prior to COVID-19, we have had A/C issues. Many of our newer schools were built so that windows could not be opened.”

The coalition is also asking city and district leaders to make sure schools are in compliance with Metro Health’s directive and to keep schools closed until safety protocols are in place.

Metro Health has required schools to post their COVID-19 data on their district websites. The city’s risk level for schools during the pandemic has decreased from “high” to “moderate.”

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