Jersey Shore Area School District will start classes on Sept. 5

JERSEY SHORE — After the Jersey Shore Area School District announced on Monday that it was going to delay school for a week, officials decided Tuesday the first day of school will be Sept. 5.

“I know what the plan is as of now,” said Superintendent Dr. Jill Wenrich. “As long as all tests come back favorable, the plan is to have the final in-service day Tuesday, Sept. 4, with the first day being Wednesday, Sept. 5.”

The district will have its building orientations and open houses on Sept. 4.

The delay has been due to remediating mold in three buildings in the district, Salladasburg Elementary, the middle school and the high school.

Wenrich said the district will be doing additional air quality tests this week on the buildings. They have been working with High Environmental Health and Safety Consultants and ServiceMaster, a cleaning and restoration company.

“There are two buildings that have been completely cleared in the district. Jersey Shore Area Elementary and Avis Elementary have been cleared for occupancy,” she said. “We’re waiting on the other three buildings.”

She said mold was only found in some parts of the buildings, like one room of the middle school.

“The other three buildings have been approved for limited occupancy, but as a precautionary measure, we’re going to keep those buildings closed to staff,” she said.

As far as what caused the issue, Wenrich said most of the buildings have older ventilation systems that do not contain dehumidifiers the way most modern HVACs do. Combined with the unusual amount of rain the area had over the summer, it created issues.

“The HVAC at Jersey Shore Elementary does have a dehumidifying system within it. That system helped us tremendously because Jersey Shore Elementary was never found to have any mold,” she said. “All the other buildings do not have a HVAC with a dehumidifying system within them because they’re older systems.”

She said the newer system was installed in Jersey Shore Elementary during its renovation in about 2012.

Wenrich said any additional information will be posted on the district’s website as they get updates.

“We’re taking a lot of precautionary measures because it’s important to ensure the buildings are safe for our students and staff to return to,” she said.

The Williamsport Area School District also delayed its school opening by a week due to mold issues.

Greg Hayes, Williamsport Area School District Education Foundation and public relations, said progress is being made in the district, and they expect to be back in session on Sept. 4.