SURPRISE, AZ — Students are back in the classroom and a big topic of concern is safety during the pandemic.
The Dysart Unified School District has made a big investment to keep students and staff healthy.
They've installed air scrubbers in every school in the district. The scrubbers remove unhealthy particles floating in the air.
Assistant Superintendent for Business Services Ken Hicks says it cost about $3 million to install 2,700 of them. The installation was approved by the district's governing board, and the money came from COVID-19 relief funds.
He says they're in every classroom, office, and hallway where an air handler is. He says parents and staff started asking about additional safety measures last year when they returned to in-person learning. He says the installation is an investment that will go beyond COVID-19.
"We always have a flu season, we always have sick times. This helps in that environment," said Hicks. "It takes particulates out of the air and creates healthier air. So, yes, it's going to continue to have benefits moving forward."
As for masks, the district says they are following the law signed by the governor that prohibits schools from requiring them. However, Hicks says they are strongly recommended.
The district also put back up their COVID-19 dashboard, so parents can track cases in their school. As of Wednesday, the district has nearly 130 COVID-19 cases.