Muskegon Michigan Public Schools Case Study

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With a continued push to get back to in-class learning by March 2021 and infection rates fluctuating weekly, Muskegon’s school system needed to take extra safety precautions to prevent future outbreaks. Most Michigan school districts had offered a hybrid learning option to limit class size and stay open; however, many of the larger school districts, including Muskegon, had remained entirely virtual since August. The Michigan Department of Health’s infection control measures included self-screening for COVID-19 symptoms and guidelines for improving air ventilation in school facilities. However, these guidelines were more challenging to accommodate for Muskegon. Most of the school buildings in Muskegon Public Schools had outdated, inadequate air ventilation systems, making proper air ventilation unobtainable. “The air circulation is not what would I say equal to what the new (HVAC) systems are,” stated Superintendent Matthew Cortez. For Superintendent Cortez, this lack of proper ventilation aroused concern, stating, “Since the cycle of air inside the buildings is delayed, and this being an airborne virus, those two things don’t go hand in hand.”

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