Dear Waldport Staff and Parents/Guardians,
On April 11, we took mold samples from inside the Crestview School. The first samples showed no black mold. There were a few spores in the samples but they’re so low that we were told they are insignificant. Then we decided to take more samples, both inside and outside, to double check. Those samples were sent last Thursday and the results should be back very soon.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is the agency responsible for making sure that classroom conditions are environmentally safe for everyone. We have been working closely with OSHA (and the Health Department) on this situation. In a meeting last week, OSHA was asked to come out and test again. They will perform those tests with the boilers shut down…and then with the boilers on. That is why there is no school Thursday – we didn’t want anyone in the building. OSHA will be at the school testing Thursday and Friday April 25-26 with a report to follow as soon as possible. We will compare their results with the 2 other tests that were done from PBS Environmental and Engineering and SAIF Insurance. Both found no CO or any other potentially harmful element(s).
We are still pricing electric boilers. The whole system costs almost a million dollars. The cost to run the electric boiler system would run $350,000 per year – a cost four times that of the current system.
We will be asking the State Boiler Inspector to evaluate all 3 of our boilers. While we have very knowledgeable utilities personnel at our schools we wanted an additional expert opinion. We are also inspecting our boiler exhaust stacks on the roof. We are also raising the height of the elementary school stack higher up into the air for the wind to catch the exhaust fumes and blow them away.
We have a list of environmental monitoring companies for a group of parents who want to do their own study. Libba Sager is overseeing that organization but the actual investigation work will be done by parents and results given by parents to the district. We need this done ASAP.
We are having a facilitated Parents Night Tuesday May 14 right before the Board meeting at CVH. The meeting will be from 5pm to 6:15pm.. The board meeting will follow. This is so we can hear from you and you can hear from us. We have invited the Health Department and OSHA to attend so parents can get the benefit of their expertise as well.
Finally, last Friday myself and 2 other district colleagues (Susan Van Liew and Sheena Scarberry) received a call back from the Oregon Poison Control Center at Oregon Health Sciences University. We received a return call from Dr. Zane Horowitz, Medical Chief of Staff and head of the Oregon Poison Control Center. He told us that any level of CO found in the blood, adult or child, under a level 5 was considered normal (“would not cause any adverse health effects”) and would need no medical attention. He told us that the body makes its own CO and when we asked about children he said they can make even more CO because of their high metabolism. He said there were many environmental sources of CO and that if people were concerned they should see a doctor about their personal heath that could be involved. The Health Department sent us a research site and a report from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) with research that matches the information given to us by Dr. Horowitz. We also told Dr. Horowitz that we had CO monitors in every class and that they alerted at 30 parts per million in the air. He told us that most monitors only alert at 70 parts per million and that ours were more sensitive than most. That was good to know.
We are monitoring the temperatures in every classroom and area and so far so good. We distributed space heaters to every classroom last Thursday. My goal is to send you an update every Monday until this situation is resolved.
Dr. Karen Gray