The start of a school year is always going to have issues. But when those issues could potentially have a health impact on students and staff, citizens are left wondering why these issues aren’t taken care of during the summer months when students are not in the buildings. For Christina, several schools are having problems with their buildings.
Bancroft Elementary School does not have a working air-conditioner in most of the three-story building. Hot air rises. Sweltering conditions in the past week make for very unpleasant days in a hot and humid building crammed with people.
Marshall and Maclary Elementary Schools are facing the well-publicized issue Pulaski Elementary School faced two years ago. There have been anonymous reports of mold in both schools. Teachers at Marshall expressed concern when they reported to work before students. They were promised an air quality test would be conducted and the results would come out before students arrived. They are now in the second week of school and nothing has been released.
As I reported late last evening, Delcastle High School in the New Castle County Vo-Tech district is having air-conditioning issues. Last week, Christiana High School faced the same issue but the problem was fixed. Districts attempt to save money during the summer months by not running the air-conditioning. That is understandable but if the result is baking students or health risks from mold spores we need to be more vigilant with how school buildings run. When air doesn’t run during the hot summer months, any presence of water can quickly become mold. This is something Christina School District is well aware of.
In 2016, it took a teacher speaking out at Christina board meetings to get the district to act at Pulaski. It shouldn’t come to that. It was unacceptable then and it is unacceptable now.
I know districts go ballistic when I put this kind of stuff out. They don’t want the general public knowing about conditions that could cause harm to human beings. When did human life become secondary to saving money? These are children we are talking about here. They are your employees, those who have been trained to care for them during a good portion of their day. Both are in conditions that are not suitable. Would you send your own child to these schools? You can put out all the press releases you want and sugarcoat the situation but we both know the real deal. And you know I know. But if you didn’t screw up to begin with I would have nothing to write about. I don’t write this to cause panic. I write, as always, in the vain hope that one day I don’t have to. That you finally figure out that lying to people just doesn’t work. If you want the public to trust you, be proactive on these things. Don’t wait to act until I write about it.
Updated, 8:51am: The Christina School District Board of Education received a memorandum from Superintendent Richard Gregg addressing the issues in these schools. It states what the issues are. It also covers many other things which are worth a read. I do like the changes in their special education department. Michele Marinucci is awesome and is exactly what Christina needed! There is also a key section on the future of the Memorandum of Understanding between the district, Delaware DOE, and Governor Carney’s office. Dorrell Green from the DOE wrote that part. I truly hope Christina fixes these environmental issues as soon as possible.