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Warren School Air Quality Study

posted Jun 14, 2019, 1:07 PM by APS Webmaster   [ updated Jun 14, 2019, 1:50 PM ]
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June 14, 2019

 

Dear Staff, Parents and Guardians,

 

In response to concerns from staff members at the Henry Warren School regarding air quality and as part of a statewide initiative by the Massachusetts Teachers Association (MTA) (the union that represents Ashland’s teachers and teachers across the Commonwealth), the Ashland Public Schools contracted with Universal Environmental Consultants, experts in the field of air quality and mold testing, in to perform Airborne Mold Testing. We are pleased to report that the testing indicated that the air quality and mold levels met safety guidelines.  No further testing was recommended.

 

Although Universal Environmental recommended no further testing, the Ashland Public Schools agreed to cooperate with the MTA, on behalf of the Ashland Educators Association (AEA), to allow further testing.  In April, the MTA issued a report.  Like the report from Universal Environmental, this report did not identify any issues that required restricting access to any part of the building.  It did, however, make some recommendations that may improve air quality.

 

In order to further explore these recommendations, a joint Warren Health and Safety Committee, consisting of APS Administrators and Warren School AEA representatives, met to review the recommendations and to discuss action items designed to improve the air quality at Warren School. As a result, a number of the recommendations have been made and have been or will be addressed, including the following:

 

  • Continue to remove wall-to-wall carpeting in classrooms and replace with tile flooring. 

  • Air-vents in all classrooms have been inspected to make sure they are all working properly and operating at “high” to increase air flow.

  • All air-vents and exhaust vents in the building will be cleaned over the summer of 2019.

  • Every summer the entire building, including every classroom and small group meeting room, undergoes a thorough cleaning by the Warren custodial staff.  We have also hired an outside vendor to help with this process, particularly for areas that would benefit from some additional, more intensive work.  

  • Warren staff have also been instructed to remove any items blocking air-vents and exhaust vents in their rooms, purge unused materials, and remove animals and plants from classrooms. 

     

    Both reports can be found here: www.ashland.k12.ma.us/facilities

     

    I want to emphasize that neither report found any failure to meet air quality or mold standards.  We are, however, taking advantage of the information provided to make improvements in our buildings for students and staff.    

     

     

    Be well,

     

    James E. Adams

    Superintendent of Schools

     

    87 West Union Street, Ashland Massachusetts 01721 www.ashland.k12.ma.us