All staff and students at C.H. Reeves Junior High School have returned to regularly scheduled classes following a two-week sit out staged by teachers, according to Jeff Lloyd, Minister of Education.
“I am happy to tell you that teachers returned to the classroom on Tuesday,” Lloyd shared last night following the announcement of a partnership between private preschools and the Ministry of Education.
Teachers walked off the job on October 29 after launching complaints to school administration that a number of classrooms at the junior high school were infested with mold.
The Ministry of Education conducted air sample testing of the classrooms in question.
The initial findings indicated that there was no presence of mold in any of the classrooms.
The teachers were unsatisfied with the results and refused to return to work.
The educators agitated for a second round of testing and hired a private company to do so.
The second round of testing revealed that mold was present in a number of classrooms.
Lloyd noted that the discovery was a regrettable one, but assured that the classrooms would remain out of use until they have been thoroughly cleaned and deemed worthy for use again.
“We have found that there was a presence of mold. It is regrettable and we are in the process of remedying it,” he said.
“These are our most treasured resources, so we are prepared to do whatever we have to do to satisfy this situation.
“Those classrooms will not be used again until we are satisfied that they are mold free.”
Lloyd confirmed that removing the affected classrooms from normal rotation on campus will not negatively impact the flow of daily classes.
“Those classrooms have been taken out of the inventory. We do have sufficient classrooms in order to continue on with the educational process,” he noted.
The education minister revealed that there are an additional 12 classrooms on the school campus which were under construction ahead of the 2018 school semester.
Due to unforeseen circumstances, the classrooms were unable to be put into rotation at the state of the new school semester, Lloyd confirmed.
However, he noted Wednesday that the newly-constructed classrooms will be added to the school’s inventory in a number of days.
“There is an unused, brand new building, with 12 classrooms that is simply waiting on an occupancy certificate,” he said.
“I spoke with works minister Desmond Bannister Wednesday morning and he assured me that whatever is required will be satisfied within a day or two so that those 12 classrooms can be used.”