SOUTH HADLEY, MA (WGGB/WSHM) -- School officials in South Hadley hosting another meeting Saturday to answer parents' and students' questions about the mold issue affecting the town's high school.
Superintendent Jahmal Mosley was joined by the high school principal and one school committee member to address concerns from parents as school hasn't started yet for high school students.
“Any plan that we execute or tried to put in place there’s a cost to it. That’s it. There’s no getting around it,” Mosley said.
South Hadley students in grades 9 through 12 are still out of the classroom, while all other students in the district have been back for now two weeks.
Mold was found in the high school on August 30, postponing the planned start of the school year for all high school students as mold remediation is underway.
Mosley and high school principal Liz Wood addressed parents' concerns in a meeting Saturday morning.
The primary focus of the questions, when will school begin?
“If I were to enact remote learning at this time they would not count towards the 180 days that are scheduled for our contract, and there is the potential of that could be financially catastrophic for our district,” Mosley said.
With remote learning ruled out as of now according to the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, Wood said getting the building safe and ready for learning as quickly as possible is everyone’s top priority.
“The design of the building in the way they’re breaking down the cleaning is allowing for those areas to be isolated and for them to continue cleaning so there’s no break and services. They are going straight through,” Wood said.
Many parents are also concerned that mold growth came from an unclean building, which Wood said is not the case.
“There’s got to be these levels of condition that allow the mold to grow and spread. In New England, this spring into the summer it was a perfect sort of combination of humid wet, weather, followed by intense heat followed, by humid, wet weather,” Wood explained.
In the meantime, high school students will still remain on summer break, but Mosley said if all goes according to plan they are hoping to open the school back up the week of September 20.