SHALER (KDKA) – The Shaler Area School District is delaying the start of the school year for high school students due to air quality concerns.
According to a statement from the district, tests at the high school showed air quality levels in two of the building's rooms were below the acceptable range. The rest of the building showed normal and acceptable ranges.
The tests were conducted on Aug. 24 and Aug. 26.
Out of an abundance of caution, the district has decided to delay the start of the school year until Sept. 4. The delay is only in effect for high school students.
"We sincerely apologize for the inconvenience and burden caused to our families by the lateness of this communication. The safety and security of our buildings for our students and staff is our top priority, and that extends to include the air quality within our facilities," Superintendent Sean Aiken and High School Principal Timothy Royall said in a joint letter to Shaler Area High School families.
It is worth noting that the samples from the two rooms in question did not show spore counts higher than what is present outside of the school.
"The district wants to conduct a thorough re-clean of the entire building and further investigate and confirm the cause of the issue has been remediated," the statement said.
All surfaces will be re-cleaned and the entire school will be dehumidified. HEPA air filters will also be used to ensure air quality.
Due to the delay, students will be missing three days of school. However, the district has already asked the Pennsylvania Department of Education to waive the days and have requested to not have to make them up.
The district is now waiting for a response to their request.
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