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UPDATE: Mold issues temporarily closes Starke Elementary School, teachers pack up

3:39 PM, Aug 26, 2013   |    comments
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UPDATE, 8/26/13: The Bradford County School District has released an updated list of relocation schools that Starke Elementary students will attend Sept. 3. Read it here.

STARKE, Fla.-- Starke Elementary School is temporarily closed because of mold and fungus concerns. 

The district's Superintendent ordered it as a precaution after elevated levels of mold and fungi were found in some buildings.

Friday would have been day five at Starke Elementary School. But, instead of teaching students, the teachers were packing up.

Friday morning, faculty answered calls from parents with questions while some teachers had questions of their own about what to pack.

Asst. Principal Jennifer Vaughn told one teacher to "Just pack up your personal things," with a warm smile.

Second grade teacher and mother, Apryl Coleman, began packing up her personal items Friday.

School reassignment information for parents

"Get the essentials that are necessary," Coleman said, "leave the foo-foo," with a smile.

It is her 13th year of teaching, but it is her first year teaching at Starke Elementary School.

"Nice facility," she said. "The people are wonderful."

But, she said the mold found in some rooms was unexpected. Superintendent, Chad Farnsworth, temporarily closed the school which was effective Friday.

The temporary school closure came after a report, done by Pure Air Control Services, showed elevated levels of mold and fungi in some rooms.

"I have never seen anything. I don't feel bad," Coleman said. "Of course I haven't been here that long. I know some of the other teachers have, but I personally have no complaint."

The district said it has a team of engineers working to figure out where the issue came from. The district also stressed that there is not enough of any mold or fungus to make anyone sick.

Brian Graham, Spokesperson for Bradford County Schools said, "This is a precaution that the superintendent is taking. We have not had any reports of illnesses. We have not had any students coming to us saying that they're ill or employees. But, we are taking a precaution here."

What still needs to be decided are logistics like transportation and where the schools more than 500 students will go. Everything is being worked out while everyone at the school is staying positive and is optimistic about the future.

"We're in this together. It's going to be OK," Coleman said with a smile.

School officials tell First Coast News they expect to know where the students will go, by early next week. The district's superintendent said students will resume classes on Tuesday September 3, 2013 in their temporary location.

First Coast News

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