Shaler Area students will not have to make up days missed due to mold
Shaler Area High School students will not have to make up three days that they missed at the school year’s start due to mold in their school, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Education.
District officials submitted an emergency school closing waiver to the state for Aug. 29 through 31, after employees discovered mold or mildew in two classrooms. District communications specialist Bethany Baker said that Wexford-based environmental consultants AGX Inc. conducted air quality tests throughout the building.
The issue stemmed from August’s increased humidity levels, in conjunction with an air handler unit that was not properly functioning. The equipment has been repaired and the building’s humidity levels are returning to a normal range, Baker said.
SERVPRO, a company with franchises specializing in fire and water cleanup, addressed the classrooms with issues and consulted with the district’s buildings and grounds department employees, as they re-cleaned all of the building’s rooms, dehumidified the school and used high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters to ensure the school’s air quality.
“Since the situation represented a threat to the students’ health/safety, and resulted in closing one building and that it would be organizationally difficult to make up the lost days for the building, your waiver request is approved,” wrote Lyneice Parker-Hunter, of the department’s school services office, to Bryan O’Black, Shaler Area assistant district superintendent.
The letter states that the district still must provide a minimum of 990 hours instruction for secondary and 900 for elementary students.
Erica Cebzanov is a Tribune-Review contributor.