West Rowan Middle extends remote learning to Sept. 9 after mold discovered at school, officials say

ROWAN COUNTY, N.C. — West Rowan Middle School is extending online learning until Sept. 9 to allow for more time to clean after microbial growth was discovered in the HVAC system, according to the school’s website.

The school was supposed to reopen Monday for in-person learning after being temporarily closed due to the mold problem, according to an email parents got earlier this week .

Athletic games and practices will continue as scheduled at the school.

School officials are holding an informational webinar for families Friday at 11 a.m.

No-cost meals are available to students at West Rowan Elementary School.

Officials will reevaluate the status of the building on Sept. 6.

For updates, visit this webpage on the school’s website dedicated to communicating with parents during the temporary closure.


Channel 9 reached out to officials for more information and learned there’s some discrepancy regarding two different inspections.

Rowan County Public Health said it conducted an inspection on Aug. 18 after a parent reported the possibility of mold in the school. The inspection report said there did appear to be mold in the building.

But the school itself said an independent consultant conducted separate tests earlier in August, which came back Monday and were negative for mold. School officials said additional janitorial crews cleaned and sanitized the affected areas.

At this point, it’s not clear who the consultant was or who hired them.

The health department said microbes, bacteria and viruses can build up over time and cause illnesses or exacerbate issues like asthma.

Parent’s reactionParents told Channel 9 they’re having to scramble to find care for their students.

“I just feel like they could’ve done better, as far as, if they knew over the summer, go ahead and get it fixed and then this wouldn’t happen, because I know some people probably can’t get off of work or anything like that,” said Shakeya McBride, a parent of a teen at the middle school. “Now, they’re having to find babysitters so that their kids can still be remote the rest of the week.”

McBride said her son’s asthma has flared up in recent weeks and she wonders if it’s related to the bacteria at the school.

“I know a lot of people are very upset about it, because they’re saying their kids are sick and they didn’t know what they’d gotten,” she said.

The district is asking students who don’t have their school-issued iPads at home to come to West Rowan High School on Tuesday between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. to pick up technology.

Full statement from Rowan-Salisbury School System:

“Our top priority is our students, and creating an environment focused on helping them succeed. Our entire team is working diligently toward this goal, and is unavailable for comment at this time. Once we have been able to communicate all pertinent information with our parents, we would be happy to answer any questions you may have.

“The West Rowan Middle School website has our most up-to-date parent communications on it, if you are looking for verified information.”

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