Update from the Superintendent - September 9th

September 9, 2018

Good afternoon West Shore students, staff, parents, and community,

While we could certainly do without more rain, it was nice to get some relief this weekend from the extremely hot, humid conditions we have been experiencing. Unfortunately, humidity and rain in upcoming forecasts will have the potential to present us once again with challenging conditions. While I certainly hope that is not the case, I wanted to notify families now of some procedural changes we will be making if heat-related dismissals are needed again this school year. 

If, in the coming weeks or next spring, we determine a need to release students early due to heat, we will only dismiss those buildings without air conditioning. 

In the past, our decision to release all students, even those in buildings with air conditioning, was made to support our families who rely on older siblings as care providers for younger siblings or other children. While we are still sensitive to this need, we must also take into consideration the number of instructional hours students have missed so far this school year.

Generally speaking, most weather-related cancellations or delays (ex. snow, flooding, etc.) are made with all schools in mind; however, parents should have alternate before and after school care plans for their children in the event of a delay, dismissal, or closure of an individual school. To the best of our ability, we will provide families with as much notice as possible to plan for childcare and to mitigate the impact of lost instructional time for students.

In addition to the change in procedure for heat-related early dismissals, I also wanted to take this opportunity to provide you with a brief update on the results of our inspections, remediation, and testing since my email on Sunday, September 2. 

Allen Middle School: Room 17 and the auditorium remain closed, but all other spaces have cleared air quality checks and are now available. Cleaning has been completed, and pending the results of the air quality tests, we anticipate opening the auditorium and room 17 by the end of the week. 

Crossroads Middle School: Remediation work continued over the weekend, and we anticipate air quality testing on the lower level Monday. Pending the results of the air quality tests, all of the closed spaces at Crossroads should open by the end of the week. 

Fishing Creek Elementary: Room 26 and the music storage area remain closed and contained. The remediation company should be completing work in our other buildings over the weekend and will begin cleaning at Fishing Creek early this week. 

Highland Elementary: We found visible signs of mold in rooms 110 and 112. Those rooms are closed while cleaning and air quality testing are completed. 

Newberry Elementary: Cleaning has taken place and the building was retested. Classroom 1 still shows degraded air quality despite no visible signs of mold. We continue to consult with CMI, and we will be cleaning the carpets and retesting the classroom. 

New Cumberland Middle School: The Tech Ed rooms and health education classroom have been reopened. Remediation will continue in the music area this week, and air quality tests will be conducted once the rooms have been cleaned. 

Red Land High School: Rooms 116, 118, and 241 were cleaned and reopened after air quality tests confirmed remediation was successful. Remediation work is continuing over the weekend in the remaining spaces that were closed last week. On Monday, we plan to collect air quality samples from these spaces, and we will reopen the rooms pending the results of the tests.

Washington Heights Elementary: New carpet has been installed in rooms 102 and 103 and both rooms have been reopened. This past week, mold was found in the carpet in room 110. The carpet has been replaced, and the room was cleaned. Air samples were taken, and we will reopen the room pending the results of the test. 

Hillside Elementary, Fairview Elementary, Lower Allen Elementary, Rossmoyne Elementary, Red Mill Elementary, and Cedar Cliff High School all continue to operate normally, having addressed any visible signs of mold development and no indication of problems from indoor air quality tests. 

It was wonderful having all schools open on Friday. Special thanks to the staff at both Allen and Crossroads Middle Schools who assisted us in reopening those buildings as quickly and safely as possible. While work continues in many of our buildings, please feel free to share questions or concerns with building principals or me at any time.

We are more committed than ever to continue our work on long-term solutions to the challenges we have faced this school year. These solutions include building new schools and major renovations to our existing buildings so we can provide safe and secure schools with climate control, improved accessibility, and the capability to serve students and our community well into the future.

Thank you again for your continued patience, support, and flexibility. I look forward to having all our buildings open on Monday and to a great week for our students and staff.


Todd B. Stoltz, Ed.D.

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