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Cleaning underway after 'mold-like substance' found in York City schools
York City is the latest school district to be saddled with mold concerns, releasing a statement about issues affecting a few buildings.
"During the last two months, we have seen a considerable amount of rain in the area," says the statement, released at the end of September, pointing to high humidity as the cause.
The district discovered isolated incidents of "a surface mold-like substance" in some areas, and the sites were immediately cleaned, according to the statement.
No school closures were necessary, said spokeswoman Erin James, but whenever there's a suspicion of mold, it's school policy to remove students from classrooms during the remediation process.
The district has received no reports of anyone getting sick or having any adverse effects from the mold, she confirmed.
Around the beginning of the school year, the first report came in of the substance on some cork bulletin boards in Devers K-8, and students were temporarily relocated from a couple of classrooms there, she said.
In order to ensure the cork was not retaining moisture that can cause additional mold growth, the boards are being removed in the evening, when buildings are unoccupied.
Eighteen had been removed by the statement's release, followed by a thorough cleaning of the affected classrooms by a professional service using mold remediation protocols.
By that time, no visible mold had been found in classrooms where the boards had been removed.
The district completed air-quality tests in 10 areas at Devers, James wrote in an email Friday, Oct. 5, and results showed "no unusual mold conditions" as of Tuesday, Oct. 2.
Other isolated incidents of mold were found in Goode and Hannah Penn K-8 schools, and dehumidifiers were placed in classrooms to reduce humidity.
The district is removing and replacing ceiling tiles that are stained from leaks, according to the statement.
Several other schools fell victim to mold prior to the start of the school year, including eleven buildings in West Shore School District, Eastern York Middle School and York Suburban High School.
Both middle schools in West Shore were closed for five days to clear the mold, and York Suburban High School prohibited use of affected classrooms during cleanup. Eastern York Middle School students will return to their building Monday, Oct. 8, after a weeks-long remediation.
Anyone who finds a mold-like substance in a York City school building should immediately contact the building administrator or the district administration at 717-845-3571 so that it can be removed quickly and preventative measures can be taken, the statement reads.
"We want to assure the community that there is not a mold problem in any school in the district," the district states.