The V.I. Department of Education (DOE) officials in the St. Croix District held two days of informational meetings for parents and staff of the John H. Woodson and Arthur A. Richards junior high schools, providing updates on the status of the two schools that will be closed through Jan. 16, pending the results of a comprehensive environmental test conducted on the Woodson campus on Jan. 10.
Students and staff had been dismissed early on Jan. 9, following complaints of an odor and skin irritations affecting some areas of the campus.
At staff meetings for the two schools on Friday, Jan. 11, and parent meetings held on Saturday, Jan. 12, attendees voiced their concerns about the safety of the campus, which is shared by Woodson and Richards students and staff.
State and district officials informed audience members that everything is being done to ensure the school environment is safe, while the contractor, Adcon Environmental, is conducting a battery of tests for air quality, mold spores, chemicals and other possible airborne substances.
When test results are returned on or about Jan. 16, Acting Superintendent Maria Encarnacion said officials would know how to proceed.
Staff at both junior high schools have prepared educational packets for students to complete during the school closures. Students who have not yet received their packets may pick them up at the following locations beginning at 1 p.m. on Monday, Jan. 14:
John Woodson Jr. H.S. packets: Alfredo Andrews Elementary School
Arthur Richards Jr. H.S. packets: Eulalie Rivera, Claude O. Markoe and Alexander Henderson elementary schools.