Virtual learning for students after mold spores were discovered at Maplewood Richmond Heights Elementary

RICHMOND HEIGHTS, Mo. – Mold spores have been discovered at Maplewood Richmond Heights Elementary School, meaning students will start the semester in virtual classrooms.

Administration said the students had not been in the building since December 21, 2022, before the mold spores were found.

“Our top priority is the health and safety of our community and we will take all necessary precautions to ensure in-person learning can take place,” said Dr. Bonita Jamison, MRH Superintendent, on Sunday. “However, not at the expense of the well-being of our students and employees.”

“Because the air quality in some areas of the school did not fall within the acceptable range, the decision was made to virtually bring the students back until we received confirmation that the air quality in our school was up to standard,” Jamison said.

On Christmas Day, a water pipe burst, leaving an inch of water all over the first floor of the elementary school. The district brought in professionals to clean and test the air, and in doing so they found the mold spores.

Students were originally scheduled to be back in classrooms on January 3, 2023, but the district gave students the entire week off while contractors worked. Administrators are working on a plan for next steps.

“We are solidifying an alternate plan to offer all students off-campus in-person instruction when air quality reports it is not safe for anyone to return to campus,” Jamison said.

The superintendent said another air quality assessment would take place on Monday. After receiving the results, they will determine if it is safe for the students to return to the building. Virtual learning for students after mold spores were discovered at Maplewood Richmond Heights Elementary

Sarah Y. Kim

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