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Information on Environmental Issues (Update 1)

Dear Parents/Guardians,

I provide this quick update on our environmental issues at Park Ave Elementary.  We received the test results today of the air samples and spot samples taken Monday and I want to share out this information.

None of the rooms tested had elevated readings.  An elevated reading would mean that the particle identification was ten times greater than the particles in the outside air.  A few rooms had slightly elevated levels of different particulates, but nothing abnormal requiring immediate action.  This means that we do not have to move any classrooms and the students in Room 2 can return to their classroom.

The suspect spots on the ventilation ducts in the Park Ave Tech Lab and the Special Services Office were confirmed as surface mold; however, the air samples in those rooms showed no elevated readings.  So the mold on the ducts is not airborne.  Both of those rooms are isolated and we will be contracting with a certified remediation company to clean the ventilation units right away.  Unrelated to this issue, we will use this time that the Tech Lab is empty to replace the ceiling tiles, which have some water spots.  This work was originally scheduled to occur later in the year.  When done we will retest the special services office and PAE tech lab prior to regular re-occupancy by staff or students.

The technician also noted dust containing mold particles on one unit ventilator.  This falls in the category of housekeeping and he recommended a thorough cleaning of all the unit ventilators.  As I said yesterday, we will have the same remediation company do that cleaning of all the unit ventilators in the 5th grade wing.

With regard to the elevated levels of carbon dioxide, upon subsequent investigation we found that the louvers on our unit ventilators in the 5th grade wing needed to be opened up more to allow more fresh air in.  The classrooms that had open windows offset this effect, those that had the windows closed had higher carbon dioxide readings because the louvers were not open far enough.  We suspect these louvers had their positions changed by our contractor when working on our new automated temperature control system.  Regardless, the louvers are all open to the proper degree now and there should be no further issue with elevated carbon dioxide.  To monitor this going forward, we are purchasing our own carbon dioxide meter to do this simple test ourselves.

We will have a letter home shortly to all Park Ave Elementary parents reviewing all of this information.  We do this because not all parents receive this email blast.

Thank you,


Rocco G. Tomazic