The Sonder Academy

Cleaner Air, Healthier Kids

The Sonder Academy

Project

The Sonder Academy

Industry

Educational Facility

Location

Melbourne, Florida

The Premise

The Sonder Academy is a private school seeking mindful, innovative solutions for children and families impacted by Autism Spectrum Disorder by implementing educational, therapeutic, and family support programs. The philosophy of The Sonder Academy is to provide each student with an individualized program designed to meet the student’s needs as an exceptional learner and enable each student to utilize the potential that he/she possesses to become a well-adjusted contributing member of society.

While Sonder employs many innovative things to keep students engaged and healthy, they were intrigued by our circadian light technologies and how they could positively impact the students and wanted to explore them further. First approached to understand more about LSG’s circadian lighting products, developed with NASA, the conversation soon after turned to other ideas to improve wellness for the students and staff. Absentee rates for both teachers and students are a large problem. Sonder is a 12 month school, so the health of the teaching staff and students is a priority and absenteeism can be a significant obstacle.

The Installation

After being asked to tour the school and discuss the needs of the students and faculty, we decided that the installation of the Cleanse® Air Sanitizing Troffer, the GoodDay® Focus- Enhancing Troffer and the Good Day&NightTM Dual-Spectrum Troffers would be excellent choices for the classrooms and common areas. The Cleanse would address the healthy air and reduce the common pathogens, while the GoodDay T8 can provide clean, focus- enhancing light in areas where the inhabitants needed it most. Sonder’s Melbourne location installed 25 of LSG’s Cleanse Air Sanitizing Systems, one for each classroom. There were several key factors that made the implementation a “no brainer”. First the design allows the Cleanse to be quickly installed in a preexisting lighting troffer which keeps installation cost to a minimum and keeps installation time short; secondly, being in the ceiling keeps it out of the reach of inquisitive children; and lastly, the heavy duty construction will provide long life with little need for maintenance which is critical in the educational environment where staffing needs to be focused on the children.

The Findings

The Sonder Academy was the first location to deploy Lighting Science’s CLEANSE to help reduce pathogens responsible for illness. Installed throughout the school, CLEANSE has decreased the levels of bacteria, viruses, and fungi in highly-populated spaces. Teachers who have reported allergy-related illness are reporting they have felt better and been less symtomatic. Data suggests a huge impact on both student and staff absences with this system.

We have installed cleanse in one of our three schools and have observed a decrease in the number of sickness-related absences for both students and teachers at this location compared to the other two. This technology has been a blessing.

Monique Todd
Co-Founder and President of Education, The Sonder Academy