SAISD releases report about January HVAC challenges which prompted district-wide school closures


SAN ANTONIO – The San Antonio Independent School District has published a report detailing the district’s handling of HVAC issues that prompted school closures earlier this year.

The district’s Board of Trustees voted to accept an ad-hoc committee’s report and recommendations on the issue during a Monday evening meeting, an SAISD news release said.

In January, SAISD suffered “systemic failures” in HVAC infrastructure , which resulted in the shutdown of 98 schools district-wide.

The 38-page report details findings from an ad-hoc committee charged with reviewing the incident and making recommendations.

“The ad hoc committee examined the crisis from three perspectives related to our governing role, including policy, finance, and superintendent accountability,” Trustee Leticia Ozuna said in a news release from the district.

The fourth phase of the district’s after-action plan was a review process and subsequent findings from the committee, the release said.

The report said the “board and district acknowledge that the HVAC issue did not arise overnight, but rather evolved over decades.” It goes on to cite the incident coming as a result of “multiple layers of human error occurring over the last 20 years.”

Several errors are detailed in the report, including the district not adequately maintaining heating and cooling hardware in its schools, and not budgeting for ongoing equipment maintenance.

Both the report and SAISD Superintendent Jaime Aquino said part of the district’s issue was attributed to the underfunding of public schools in Texas.

The release said this and the number of “aging buildings the district operates” were considered underlying causes in the report.

“We commit to leading with openness and a strategic, systemic approach to tackling our challenges,” Ozuna said. “We want our families to feel reassured that the board will push all leaders to do better for our students.”

The full report, including recommendations from the ad-hoc committee, is available below.

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