Parents react to South Hadley High School’s continued closure after mold discovery | News


SOUTH HADLEY, MA (WGGB/WSHM)–South Hadley High School parents are wondering when their kids can go back to school after the discovery of mold forced the start of classes to be delayed. The school superintendent said tonight, there is still no timetable for when high school students will hit the books.

Parent reaction was mixed. They want to send their kids back to school, but they want them to be able to learn in a safe environment.

“I totally get that everybody is doing the best they can, it’s just it’s sad,” said Katrina Barnes, a South Hadley mom.

Barnes has a son who she said is going to be a junior someday. The someday she is talking about is when her teenager will be able to step foot in South Hadley High School once again. The school year was supposed to start last week, but has been delayed due to mold found growing in the building. For now, her son is at home, and her daughter is at her middle school.

“It’s weird to have one kid being in school. And one kid extending vacation. But my son did just start working. So it kind of gives him time to acclimated,” said Barnes.

Western Mass News reached out to the South Hadley High School Superintendent Jahmal Mosley for an update on Tuesday. He told us, he does not have any new information or a timetable for when parents and students can expect classes to begin. Now, Barnes has to figure out how her son can keep up with his studies.

“We’re considering actually putting my son in some college classes in the meantime to see if he can keep up with his school work and not let this kind of get him behind,” said Barnes.

As for how other parents feel:

“Disappointed because it was last-minute. And we don’t really know what the plans are. Just checking emails frequently to just find out. But the fact that there’s no school, that’s disappointing,” said South Hadley mom Sheida Kouzehkanani.

Western Mass News has also learned the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education commissioner Jeffrey Riley visited the school on Saturday. DESE told us in a statement:

“Commissioner Riley wanted to assess the situation. The department is providing technical support to local building staff on how to remove the mold.

Late Tuesday, superintendent Mosley released some new information surrounding the situation. In it, he revealed locations being looked at as substitute locations for the high school. They include the MassMutual Center, Elms College, Holyoke Community College, the Holyoke Mall and even bringing in portable classrooms to the South Hadley High School campus.

Mosley said each scenario comes with significant cost and space limitations, but they continue to actively pursue their options.

Copyright 2020 Western Mass News (Meredith Corporation).  All rights reserved.

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