A.I. duPont Middle School is the latest Red Clay school to shutter to deal with rising COVID-19 numbers in the state.
The school was shuttered Friday, November 13, 2020, due to what Assistant Superintendent Ted Ammann called a "significant" number of employees at the building required to quarantine. The school will remain closed, according to a spokeswoman, through Friday, November 20, 2020, with students engaging in online learning.
Last week, North Star and Richardson Park elementary schools were closed due to the virus after a staffer at each school tested positive, forcing "critical staff" to quarantine. Both schools have since reopened.
Last week, WDEL also reported a positive case at H.B. duPont Middle School. That school was never shuttered.
Meantime, Heritage Elementary School in Pike Creek, which had been dealing with a mold outbreak, exclusively reported by WDEL, reopened to students and staff this week.
The decision comes after the district sought a second opinion from another air quality testing company at educators' request. Ammann said they contracted Brightfields for those tests while Batta Environmental Associates also continued testing.
"We have used the more 'conservative' numbers and thresholds of the two," he told WDEL. "We had a small handful of rooms where counts were still higher than we’d like. We are continuing to clean those, filter the air in them and will retest next week."
Heritage Elementary School Principal Alice Conlin notified parents in the following communication last week:
"As you know we have been addressing elevated levels of mold. We have continued to do air quality testing and included a second company to ensure that we have as much data as possible. We are pleased to report that the cleaning has been successful and the level of mold spores in the building are significantly lower. In a couple of rooms, we are seeing lower numbers but not as low as we would like so we will be continuing to clean those areas and added additional HEPA filtration systems. We are confident that the levels of mold spores in the building are similar to levels found outdoors and looking forward to have students back in our building."