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Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Mold Caused by Recent Flooding of Hurricane Irene

Thanks to Hurricane Irene, more than 700 students at Newark’s Wilson Avenue School are being forced to kick off the new school year on the road.

Due to mold caused by the recent flooding damage at the school, the school district is planning to transport students on Tuesday to two other school while repairs are made. District officials estimate repairs could take six to nine months.

Students in grades 1 through 3 will go to St. Anthony’s in Belleville, and students in grades 4 through 8 will go to Quitman Street Community School in Newark. Pre-K and kindergarten students will remain at the Wilson Avenue Annex building.

School parents should drop off their children at Wilson Avenue School, where they will be transported to the other locations.

District officials are hoping to not interrupt classes, but because of the transportation to other alternate sites, the school day will begin 15 minutes later and end 15 minutes earlier.

“Student safety is our chief concern,” Newark Superintendent Cami Anderson said in a statement. “Despite the disruption, our dedicated staff has responded quickly and provided an alternative site solution to enable the leadership of Wilson Avenue School to provide a safe environment for teachers to teach and students to learn on the first day of school.”

Two community meetings are scheduled for Tuesday to address parents' concerns: 4 to 5:30 p.m. at the Quitman Street Community School, located at 21 Quitman Street in Newark; and 6 to 8 p.m. at East Side High School, located at 238 Van Buren Street.

This relocation marks the second time in less than 18 months that Wilson Avenue School students had to leave the Ironbound building while emergency repairs were made.

In April 2010, the school was closed after high levels of benzene were discovered there. Students were sent to East Side High School, and then to a facility in Harrison. After various improvements were made, the school reopened its doors last September.

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