Mold, asbestos forces Rockland County high school to close until January

A high school in Rockland County has announced that students will not return to in-person learning remote learning until next year due to concerns over black mold and asbestos that was discovered inside some of the classrooms. 

Parents of students at Spring Valley High School were notified by letter Tuesday that students would no longer be coming to the facility due to the discovery of potentially hazardous materials in specific classrooms. 

"We have determined it is not feasible to run the in-person instructional program and concurrently investigate and develop a plan to address this immediate concern," the letter read. "At the advice of the District's Architect & Engineering firm, and out of an abundance of caution, we have decided to shift students at Spring Valley High School to remote instruction for the remainder of the week."

Officials said at least five classrooms were affected by the mold, and another 10 have been shut as a precaution. 

On Friday, school officials announced that testing had confirmed the presence of both mold and asbestos.

A testing consultant recommended the closure of some sections of the building to mitigate the hazard, but school officials said such a decision was not feasible.

Due to increasing enrollment and space limitations, officials said the entire school building will be closed until remediation finishes and students will continue with remote learning.

Officials said the work may be completed by December 23, with an anticipated return to in-person instruction for students on January 3, 2022. 

The extent of repairs needed is unclear, and as a result, PSATs and SATs have been rescheduled. 

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