Report shows 13 areas inside South Hadley High School with mold

Hampshire County

SOUTH HADLEY, Mass. (WWLP) – Test results are in for the black and white substance discovered inside South Hadley High School that prompted officials to push back the first day of in-person learning. 

Twenty locations inside the high school were tested for mold; 13 were positive for mold growth and seven were negative. Mold was found in areas including a blower, desk, door frame, cabinet, hall locker, sink counter, wall/floor, computer room air handler, among others. You can find the full report here. 

The samples tested showed low to medium levels of mold growth. The types of mold found were Cladosporium and Aspergillus species.  

As of Tuesday evening, it’s still unclear when the high schoolers will be able to start the new academic year. Thursday, September 2 was supposed to be the first day of school but Superintendent Jahmal Mosley announced the school’s sudden closure two days before, after the discovery of the mold.

Emergency Response Team Vehicles and dumpsters were outside the school on Wednesday, all part of the mold mitigations efforts to remove the mold.

“So it’s all just pretty confusing, and chaotic at this point and I feel like all we want is answers as to when our kids will be in school,” said Melanie Roe, a parent of a student at South Hadley High School.

According to the school, an updated timeline will be released on Thursday. Superintendent Dr. Jahmal Mosley was not available for an in-person interview with 22News because he is traveling. However, he did provide the following statement:

“I share the community’s and parent’s frustration(s) for high school students not able to attend school or remote learning. As superintendent, safety is paramount. At this time, South Hadley High School is not safe to be occupied by students and staff. The district leadership team is committed to performing a comprehensive cleaning of the high school to ensure safety.”

Superintendent Dr. Jahmal Mosley

Mosley said the school has been exploring available options for alternative learning, including the MassMutual Center, Elms College, and the Holyoke Mall. He added that on Thursday, they will have a better understanding of the cleaning that’s needed for the building in order for students and staff to safely return for in-person learning. 

The town is of South Hadley will hold open public forums via Zoom on Thursday at 6:00 p.m. and Saturday at 9:00 a.m. for updates and for people to ask questions.

The district is working with the Department of Early and Secondary Education to determine how students can make up the missed school days.

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