April 22, 2019
Dear Waldport Staff and Parents/Guardians,
The following is an update on what we are doing at Crestview Heights Elementary School. We are attempting to communicate with you and keep you up to date with what the district is doing to work to try and ensure that everyone is safe at school.
Please read the following:
On April 11, we took mold samples inside the school. The first samples showed no black mold. There were a few numbers of spores in the samples we sent and those numbers are so low that they are insignificant. We then decided to take more samples both inside and outside to make sure our numbers are safe. Those samples were sent last Thursday and should be back today. More reports to come.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration or, as many people know it, OSHA, is the agency responsible for making sure that work conditions are environmentally safe for people to work in. We have been working closely with OSHA (and the Health Department) on this situation. In a meeting last week, OSHA was asked to come out and test (for some areas it is a re-test) as much of the school as possible for all the harmful environmental elements they could. They will have to do that both with boilers off (as they are currently off and have been since Tuesday April 16) and with the boilers on. That is why we asked you to please have no school Thursday-we didn’t want anyone in the building. OSHA will be at school testing Thursday and Friday April 25- 26 with a report to follow as soon as possible. We will compare their results with the 2 other tests that were done from PBS Environmental and Engineering (we paid for) and SAIF Insurance (we didn’t ask for or pay for). Both found no CO or any other toxic element. We will report back to you ASAP.
We are still pricing electric boilers. So far the whole system is almost a million dollars. The cost to run the electric boiler system would cost $350,000 per year, a cost four times the current amount.
We will be asking the State Boiler Inspector to come and inspect all 3 of our boilers. While we have very experienced people in our district we wanted a third party expert opinion. We are also having our “stacks” inspected, which are those big things on the roof that let the exhaust out from the boilers. We are in the process of raising the stack at the elementary school up 8 feet to blow exhaust much further up into the air for the wind to catch and blow away.
We have received from the Oregon Department of Education a list of Environmental Studies companies for a group of parents from CVH to choose from for their parent-led study. Libba Sager is overseeing the
organization of this work but the work will be done by parents and results given by parents to the district. We need this done ASAP.
We are aiming at having a facilitated Parent Night Tuesday May 14 right before the Board meeting at CVH. The meeting will be from 5pm to 6:15pm with the place to be determined. The board meeting would follow. This is so that we can hear from you and you can hear from us. We have invited the Health Department and OSHA to attend so you can hear directly from them. I hope they will come. This is not for sure yet but I will keep you posted. There will be a meeting and we want to be certain of the date.
Finally, last Friday myself and 2 other district colleagues (Susan Van Liew and Sheena Scarberry) received a call back from the Oregon Poison Control Center at Oregon Health Sciences University. For Oregon they are the top organizational expert on health and what constitutes poisoning. The person that called us back (we had called for a few days) was Dr. Zane Horowitz, their Medical Chief of Staff and head of the Oregon Poison Center. He stated to us that any level of CO found in the blood of anyone, adult or child, under a level 5 was considered normal (“would not have any adverse health effects”) and needed no medical intervention. He told us that the body makes its own CO and when we asked about children, he said they can make even more CO because of their high rates of metabolism. He said that there were many environmental sources of CO and that if people were concerned to see a doctor about personal medical conditions or environmental factors that could be happening. The Health Department sent us a research site and a report from the Centers for Disease Control or CDC with research that matches the information given to us by Dr. Horowitz. That link may be found below.
We also told Dr. Horowitz that we had CO monitors in every class and that they alerted at 30 parts per million in the air. He told us that most monitors only alert at 70 parts per million and that ours were more sensitive than most. That was good to know. Anyone can call the Oregon Poison Center.
We are monitoring the temperatures in every classroom and area and so far so good. We distributed space heaters to every classroom last Thursday.
My goal is to send you an update every Monday until this situation is resolved. Yours Truly,
Dr. Karen Gray LCSD Superintendent