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DWIGHT International School starts to dream bigger with the fine dust preventionInterview with Principal Kevin Skeoch

[The Hwankyung Ilbo] Year by year, the problem of fine dust has become serious, yet neither of the Ministry of Education, nor Ministry of Environment has come out with suitable countermeasures and the new school year has already begun. The air quality of 61 classrooms in 35 elementary schools that installed air purifiers was analyzed and the result was rather unsatisfactory, upsetting many parents. This was mainly due to the number of students and their greater hours of activities. Measures are being taken in the school’s aspect to resolve the predicted damages due to the insufficient ventilation facility and crowded classrooms. DWIGHT International School located in Sangam-dong, Seoul, has attracted attention with its high quality of education and a new approach to resolving the indoor air quality issues and to take preemptive response to the fine dusts. <Editor’s note>

In 2012, DWIGHT International School with the 130 years of tradition landed Korea

DWIGHT International School, which located in Sangam-dong, is a prestigious private school based in New York and currently operating in London, Vancouver and Beijing. The school is a five-story building with a basement floor and has a total floor area of 18,559㎡. This school is the 22nd international school that has been accredited by the City Office of Education. The total number of students is 540 including kindergarten students and high school students. The number of local students is limited to 20% of the total students. For local students, more than three years of overseas residence experience is required for enrollment.

As the only school in Korea to receive International Baccalaureate certification in the entire curriculum (age 5 to 19), the principal Kevin Skeoch said that, “Students can choose and move to one of the four New York, London, Beijing and Victoria campus,” and he added, “Through this opportunity, students can learn about global mind and leadership skills.”

Preparation of curriculum for nurturing global leaders with creativity

DWIGHT School with 130 years of tradition began as a Prep-school of Yale University. It is well known as the school being founded by Julius Sachs, who is the co-founder of Goldman Sachs, the largest investment bank in the US as well as, the founder of The College Board, the SAT test supervising body. The school has produced many worldwide celebrities. Many renowned individuals, including Fiorello La Guardia, who ran as the Mayor of New York for three times, columnist Walter Lippmann, who won the Pulitzer Prize, Harold Prince, who directed the musical, ‘The Phantom of the Opera’, and Roy Lichtenstein, a famous artist, all studied here.

DWIGHT School mainly conducts classes with discussion, presentation, and group activities. It focuses on creativity development and personality education to nurture global leaders. To match its reputation as a prestigious private school, it puts a lot of effort on social service activities. Alumni and business entities collect the funds to support scholarship and leadership education to underprivileged students in China, India, Peru, Saudi Arabia, Kenya and Tanzania. Moreover, during the vacation period, students and teachers in each campus volunteer in social services for developing countries and accumulate diverse experience to cultivate their qualities to be the global leaders.

Clean indoor air in the architecture with natural lighting

Inside the campus guided by the principal Kevin Skeoch, lots of nature lightening was used so the overall architecture gave a warm impression. He explained that nature friendly activities such as tree planting and seeding can be done on the rooftop. Students study in classrooms in different colors; senior year in blue, other years’ students in red, orange and green. Students study bright and free atmosphere and openly join in the discussion during the class.

There were exhibitions of artworks created by students who had trained their skills in regular classes of the school. A person in charge explained that “In every semester, art exhibition and music concerts are held in the school regularly.”

Principal Kevin Skeoch further explained about the ‘Dwellizer’ system recently installed in the school. He said, “Having the air system that can protect students brought great satisfaction to teachers, students as well as to parents”. The Dwellizer system of DWELLING Inc., which analyzes, measures and improves the indoor air of home and multiuse facilities based on IoT sensors which measures the 11 items, collects and analyzes the data and visualize the air quality in one minute interval through real time remote control.

Air quality data check every minute through the ‘Dwellizer’ system

The core technology of Dwelling is to remotely reduce the fine dust and germs. Dwelling’s air purification system builds an integrated control center and utilizes Smart IoT air quality sensor optimization arrangement in multiuse facilities, and uses the algorithm to analyze the air quality sensor’s data, and resolve fine dusts and germ issues with a real time air purification equipment interlocking technology.

Principal Kevin Skeoch said, “Just having the system installed in the school gives reassurance,” and “I strongly recommend this to many other schools in Korea suffering from similar air problems.” He stated that, “Dwellizer system is the most efficient solution to the air quality improvement.” Also, he added, “Continuous efforts will be made to improve the air quality, the most important matter in defining the quality of life.”

According to the amended School Health Act, there shall be air purification equipment, ventilation equipment, and fine dust measuring equipment in each classroom of schools. In addition to that, the Minister of education and the superintendent of education shall support the whole or part of necessary expenses needed. However, there are difficulties for this to be enforced in some schools. Classrooms are lack of ventilation facilities and the students are exposed to the fine dust in a crowded space. Most of the schools installed the standing type of air purifier for home and office use, but this is not sufficient to solve the indoor fine dust problems. Also, 20% to 60% of the schools that already have ventilation facilities do not actually use them due to noise problems, unsatisfactory effectiveness, burden of electric expenses, and maintenance fees including filter changes.

‘Environment & Energy Teaching System’ needs to be implemented soon

As some schools are faced with such reality, principal Kevin Skeoch said “Response system must be built with consideration for each school’s situation and their exposure level of the fine dust,” and he added, “It is impossible for a teacher in charge to take care of so many variables alone. We admit this and I strongly agree on implementing the ‘Environment & Energy Teaching System’, which enables the school to take the full charge of the necessary duties and deliver the related information.”

He also said, “if I will have a opportunity to build another school in Korea, I will consider the fine dust and indoor air quality management system from the foundation,” and added, “I will make a greater effort to improve the indoor air quality to leave a good example for the future.”

조수빈 리포터  press@hkbs.co.kr

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