Friday, August 24, 2012

Dallas ISD: 34 Noisy Schools & 48 Quiet Schools

In 1978 I replaced old windows in my home with double pane windows. I immediately noticed my home was quieter. I could no longer hear the occasional siren in the distance. Yes, I have continued to save hundreds of dollars annually in utility bills these past 34 years, but the change to a more quiet home was immediate!

In July of 2012 I saw renovations happening in a nearby DISD school.  All the windows were being replaced.  It was good to see.  But then I looked more closely.  They were installing single pane windows!  I was amazed! 

I immediately began contacting people.  They were all likewise amazed. Over 30 years after double pane windows had become normal for energy conservation and noise abatement, DISD was still putting single pane windows into a school!  The amazement was universal.  Not a single person I contacted knew this was happening, even DISD Board members!

It was discovered that 82 DISD schools are having windows replaced from the 2008 Bond Program.  Of those, 48 are having double pane windows installed.  But the remaining 34 are schools in "quadrants of the city judged to have high glass breakage."  They are only having single pane windows installed.  The additional expense of replacing broken dual pane windows was given as the reason!

I wonder which "quadrants" have students that are most often distracted in class by sirens?

What is the extra expense of replacing a broken double pane window compared to replacing a single pane window?  Is the difference greater than the monthly utility cost savings from double pane windows in a school?  Is it greater than the improved student achievement from a quieter classroom?  Is it greater than the value of having a stronger window to protect students from anything hitting a window?  Where are these 34 schools located?

I attended the 8-23-12 DISD Board Meeting and spoke before the board about this issue.  Everyone was amazed to hear about these 34 schools.

How will Dallas respond?  Will Dallas allow single pane window installations to continue in the rest of those 34 schools that may not yet have been renovated?

As more information unfolds it will be posted here.

============= update 9-6-12 ============

Today I received in the mail the response to my open records request to DISD.  It appears that the single pane schools are evenly spread throughout the city, and among schools that have roughly the same poverty levels in all schools.   My first concerns have been unfounded. Children appear to be treated equally no matter what their income levels.  In a spreadsheet I have entered a 1 or 2 for single or double pane windows.  I also entered the Free and Reduced Lunch percentage for each of these schools.  Then the lists were separated and the difference was found to be minimal: an average of 84.6% free or reduced lunch percentage in the schools with newly installed single panes and an average of 85.3% free or reduced lunch program for those schools which received the double pane windows.  The distribution is good and appears to be virtually equal for poverty levels throughout Dallas.

The other concerns remain:
1) the energy that will continue to be lost in the single pane schools, and
2) the additional noise students will hear from outside the schools with only single pane windows.

Here is a list of the schools that had their windows replaced as part of the 2008 Bond Program. The numbers do not match what I was originally told as reflected in the title of this blog.  If you see an error in the following list, ESPECIALLY if your school is listed one way or the other and it is wrong, please let me know:  It is rather easy to check new windows and verify if they are double or single pane.  Just ask around and finding a person who can demonstrate should be easy.
Here are the schools which received single pane windows:

Adams, Bryan High School Madison, James High School
Allen, Gabe P.1 Elementary Marsalis, Thomas L. Elementary
Bayles Elementary Moseley, Nancy Elementary
Blanton, Annie W. Elementary Peabody, George Elementary
Carr, C.F. Elementary Reilly, Martha T. Elementary
City Park Elementary Reinhardt Elementary
Dorsey, Julius Elementary Roosevelt, F.D. High School
Dunbar, Paul L. Elementary Runyon, John W. Elementary
Gaston, W.H. Middle School Seagoville H. S. High School
Hall, Lenore Kirk Elementary Sequoyah Elementary
Ireland, John Elementary Stockard, L.V. Middle School
Jackson, Stonewall Elementary Urban Park Elementary
Johnston, Albert S. Elementary White, W.T. High School
Lagow, Richard Elementary Wilson, Woodrow High School
Long, J.L. Middle School Callejo, MS Middle School
Longfellow, H.W. Middle School Obama MLA
Macon, B.H. Elementary

Here are the schools which received double pane windows:

Anderson, William Elementary North Dallas High School
Blair, W.A. Elementary Pease, Elisha M. Elementary
Bryan, John Neely Elementary Rice, Charles Elementary
Burleson, Rufus C. Elementary Roberts, Oran M. Elementary
Bushman W.W. Elementary Russell, Clinton P. Elementary
Caillet, F.P. Elementary Seagoville Elementary
Cochran, Nancy Elementary Seagoville M. S. Middle School
Cuellar, Sr., Gilbert Elementary South Oak Cliff High School
Dade, Billy Earl Middle School Stemmons, Leslie A. Elementary
Dealey, George B.(PK-6) Elementary Storey, Boude Middle School
Ervin, J.N. Elementary Sunset High School
Franklin, Benjamin Middle School Terry, T.G. Elementary
Hill, Robert T. Middle School Titche, Edward Elementary
Holmes, Oliver W. Middle School Travis, William B. Middle School
Lee, Umphrey Elementary Walnut Hill Elementary
Marcus, Herbert Elementary Webster, Daniel Elementary
May, Jose Elementary Wilmer Hutchins High School
Miller, William B. Elementary Winnetka Elementary
Mills, Roger Q. Elementary Zumwalt, Sarah Middle School
Again, if you see any errors in these lists and any schools do not have the windows indicated, please let me know.  Double pane windows, if they are of as good a quality as the windows I installed in my home in 1978, should create significantly quieter classrooms compared to single pane windows.

If you would like a copy of the spreadsheet please email me at bbetzen@aol and say you want the single/double pane spreadsheet.

Bill Betzen  9-6-12