(WWLP) – Students at Northampton and South Hadley Public Schools will be postponing their school year, but not because of COVID-19.
At Northampton Public Schools, an air quality issue was discovered when the District was trying to implement COVID-19 safety measures. Just before the 2021 school year begins, a new obstacle has arisen… mold. Northampton Public Schools discovered the hazard in a theater and classrooms in the high school and middle school.
“Essentially a result of our efforts to increase air flow for COVID purposes, so we’re running the ventilators in the building at the damper a hundred percent open and when the weather is like this, it means we’re bringing in very humid air.” Dr. John A. Provost, Superintendent, Northampton Public Schools
The District brought in a professional cleaning crew to remove the mold, which was only on hard surfaces, making it easy to remove. Northampton middle and high school students are scheduled to return on Friday. There was no mold in the elementary, so those students will return Thursday as planned.
However, air quality isn’t just an issue at Northampton Public Schools, the South Hadley School District informed students and parents that the first day of classes would be remote, due to a substance on the walls. 22News contacted the South Hadley Superintendent, but have not heard back.
“I think the kids already had a tough year during COVID and they lost a year of school already and now we don’t even know what’s going to happen for the next year so mold on top of all this. I think the kids just want a sense of normalcy, and it’s hard to get right now.” Collin Higgins from South Hadley