Sycamore school district uses federal COVID-19 relief funds to invest in air purifiers

SYCAMORE – Students and staff of Sycamore School District 427 are breathing cleaner air to start the school year after air purifiers were installed in Sycamore schools over the summer break.

District 427 has installed NanoStrike air purification units from Protect|ED, a company focused on creating clean air in schools, with its Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief funds.

“Taking care of our school community has always been a priority, and the ongoing pandemic makes this investment of federal ESSER funding more critical than ever as we work to make improvements to our facilities,” District 427′s Assistant Superintendent for Business Service, Nicole Stuckert wrote in an email to staff and families on Tuesday.

In her email, Stuckert cited research from Havard University T.H. Chan School of Public Health that links cleaner air with cognitive function.

Stuckert wrote the school district’s administration thinks it’s important for it to create optimal learning and working environments, and in conjunction with that the district takes the health and well-being of its students and staff seriously.

“By improving air quality in our schools, we are better able to keep kids learning in the classroom. By reducing the risk for illness, absenteeism will diminish, having a positive impact on academic performance,” Stuckert said Wednesday.

According to the letter, other companies reached out to District 427 but the school district decided Protect|ED was the best partner for Sycamore’s schools because of the science behind the NanoStrike air purification units.

“While there are several companies that offer technologies that capture pathogens, such as allergens, we have found very few that actually eliminate harmful micro-organisms,” Stuckert said, while noting the air purification unit from Protect|ED complements the school district’s HVAC filters to create a healthier educational environment for students and staff.

NanoStrike air purification units work by pulling in air with an internal dual-speed fan. The unit then uses brand specific coils, which uses multiple concurrent inactivation processes, that work to rapidly destroy airborne pathogens.

“Our students, teachers and staff deserve to breathe air that is clean and minimizes their risk for illnesses,” Stuckert said Wednesday. “The Sycamore Community School District 427 is committed to the health and safety of our school community. Improving the air quality in our schools supports overall health and well being, improves student productivity and reduces absenteeism.”

“It is medical-grade technology that has been embraced by the medical community for the past decade. More than 60 clinical and lab studies show NanoStrike reduces certain viruses and pathogens up to 99.99%. In fact, the system is used by world-renowned medical institutions such as the Mayo Clinic and Cleveland Clinic,” Stuckert wrote. “That was something that meant a lot to our district.”