Mold, Mold and More Mold

Hoopa Valley High School Closes More Classrooms

By Allie Hostler, Two Rivers Tribune      May 4, 2017

Unsafe levels of mold found in modular classrooms at Hoopa Valley High School./Photo by Allie Hostler, Two Rivers Tribune.

Unsafe levels of mold found in modular classrooms at Hoopa Valley High School./Photo by Allie Hostler, Two Rivers Tribune.

The temporary modular classrooms, installed at Hoopa Valley High School in December, to accommodate students displaced from their regular classrooms due to black mold, also tested positive for unsafe levels of mold.

Test results were received on Wednesday, May 3, and by the morning of May 4, school administrators delivered the news, and a plan, to students during an emergency assembly.

Students met with each of their teachers and received packets of school work. Three options were explained to students; independent study, attend school with a modified instructional model, or attend classes as needed. A community meeting will be held on Monday evening, May 8, at 5:30 p.m. Families and students will then decide which option is best for them.

“We have a plan in place for every class that is being displaced by this situation, and we will continue to improve upon it as is needed for our students and staff to be successful,” Dusty Rossman, Principal at Hoopa Valley High School, said.

Klamath-Trinity Joint Unified School District (KTJUSD) Superintendent Jon Ray said 11 of the 12 modules tested positive for unsafe levels of mold reducing the number of usable classrooms at the High School to nine, plus the gymnasium. Several additional classrooms and school buildings have been under construction for more than a year due to previously discovered mold contamination.

Ray said the school rented the modules and had complained to the owner about the leaky roofs since day one. The owner attempted to fix the roofs several times, but all of the fixes failed and the rooms continued to leak. The wetter-than-normal winter coupled with damp ceilings and warm weather created a hospitable environment for the mold to grow.

“The likelihood of mold is very high with any kind of moisture penetration in our rooms,” Ray said. “So we test and we test. When the levels reach a hazardous level, that’s when we take action.”

The owner of the modules is traveling to Hoopa today (Thursday) to assess the situation. KTJUSD set Plan A into action, and has a Plan B waiting in the wings. Ray said the ceiling panels and insulation must be removed and mold inhibitor must be applied. The air must be cleaned with HEPA filtration and all surfaces must be sanitized before the classrooms can be used again.

Ray expects use of the classrooms to resume within one-to-two weeks.

Rossman said there will also be satellite classrooms established in Willow Creek, Orleans and Pecwan with High School faculty rotating to the various sites to provide instruction to their students.

UPDATE:

On Thursday, May 11, school resumed as normal. The modules were repaired and mold within them mitigated.

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