Education

Mould remains at Dellwood

  • Waiting for news: concerned parties at Dellwood School yesterday (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)

Students at Dellwood Middle School were called back to school today — but mould has been discovered in rooms previously given the all clear.

The Ministry of Education had said students would return to Dellwood today, two days late, following several weeks spent carrying out work including mould treatment.

However, it’s understood that teachers were yesterday still not satisfied with the state of the school and, last night, the Ministry of Education announced mould remained in some rooms.

The Ministry called students to assemble in the amphitheatre today, and said usual year opening activities would take place today and tomorrow. On Friday, a team building exercise is planned for Darrell’s Island.

On Monday and Tuesday next week, students will be sent to TN Tatem and Clearwater Middle School. The Ministry has not specified when Dellwood will reopen.

Last Thursday, education minister Diallo Rabain had announced the school would reopen today. Mr Rabain said the areas of concern had cleared for occupancy by the Ministry of Health and the Government Health and Safety Officer, after receiving the air-quality report carried out by an independent company.

It also emerged that Government’s original plan to relocate students on Monday and yesterday to “locations in the City of Hamilton,” did not go ahead. According to parents, students stayed at home.

Yesterday morning, teachers at Dellwood and members of the Bermuda Union of Teachers met Government health and safety officer Yuri Lightbourne to discuss the state of the school in the run-up to the first day.

As a result of the meeting, this newspaper understands, the union teachers decided they were not comfortable with pupils entering the school in its present state.

PTA president Kelland Hayward said that parents had been complaining because, while teachers were invited to yesterday’s meeting, parents had not been informed of any potential change of plan.

The Bermuda Union of Teachers called an emergency meeting yesterday evening to discuss the matter further.

A statement released by the education ministry last night said Mr Rabain and Lieutenant-Colonel David Burch, Minister of Public Works, had met parents, teachers and union representatives.

The statement said that following additional testing and inspection conducted yesterday, mould had been discovered in some rooms that had previously been given the all clear.

“It was agreed that on Monday students will be sent to TN Tatem and Clearwater until the school is cleared and renovations completed,” it stated.

“Both ministers and technical staff will inspect the school tomorrow and determine what needs to be done to ensure the school is healthy.”

In his statement last Thursday, Mr Rabain said: “I met with the principal, parents and staff to inform them that the Ministry of Health and the Government Health and Safety Officer has cleared the areas of concern for occupancy after receiving the air-quality report carried out by an independent company.

“The repair work that was initially scheduled for six weeks has successfully been completed in four weeks, allowing for the school to reopen on Wednesday, September 13.”