“The Ministry was very clear from very early on that ventilation was key in keeping our school community healthy,” comments Dr Owen Arnst, Principal of Carncot; the only independent school in Palmerston North, “so we understood that that’s what we needed to focus on, but then as an independent school, we realised we needed to provide our own CO2 monitors, and in the end, that ended up being the best thing.”
Practising what they teach, Carncot was forward-thinking and reflective in their approach: “the research showed that having a monitor in every teaching space would be the most effective, and that supply would soon be an issue,” adds Owen, “and so we chose Tether for two main reasons, because they had ample supply and because COVIDCare* aligns with our holistic view of educating; the Tether platform is interactive, engaging, interesting and educational.”
Owen admits that the air quality space was a revelation to him: “It was the most incredible learning curve, I had no idea of the work being done and yet it makes total sense; of course we should be considering air quality as an extension of our health.”
“Installation and support has been a breeze, but the vital part of all of this is the immediate results: monitoring is live and constant so we deal with a risk before it even becomes a problem and the positive impact of our intervention is immediately demonstrated,” commented Owen.
“Getting COVIDCare* early on educated us all – teachers and students – on the impact of ventilation on our health and on our brains,” Owen adds, “and having the insight from the Tether platform to manually intervene effectively has resulted in Carncot experiencing a very slow trickle of COVID and flu, as opposed to big, disruptive waves. “
“Even now (in the current Auckland June 2022 wave), we have one or two COVID cases a day and we’re easily able to manage staffing with maybe two teachers a week maximum being off. I know that’s not the case for our neighbours.”
“State schools had to wait a fair while for their monitors and each school was provided with only one monitor,” Owen explains, “which is a pity because they lost out on the opportunity to monitor each learning space in real time.”
* now known as Tether Airborne Index