Since Feb.15, 2012 I have asked myself if anything good can come from my wife's respiratory arrest and seizure while in her classroom at Jenny Lind Elementary. Her medical emergency has haunted me because from what I now understand, it was completely avoidable.
I believe the reason my wife (a special education teacher) had the medical emergency is because there was no maintenance done on the HVAC (Heating/ Ventilation/Air-Conditioning) system over an extended period of time. Only after my wife (and her assistants) started to have severe headaches and other harsh symptoms, did CUSD Maintenance Dept. reluctantly assess and maintain the HVAC system. But it was too late; the damage was already done: exposure (over time) to inadequate/poor air quality from a 24 year old portable. Unfortunately, this type of environmental hazard can be highly toxic and debilitating. On Feb. 15, 2012 my wife left JLE in an ambulance with a blood pressure of 196/103. (Her normal BP is 115/70). Her respiratory arrest and seizure were witnessed by a fireman, the entire JLE administration, staff members, and students.
Can I be bold enough to say that budget issues and deferred maintenance are now putting people—students, teachers, assistants--at very high risk for their health and well-being? Could what happened to this Special Education Teacher happen to your child? I fear the answer is, "yes." Because I know about the current conditions and the history of ongoing issues with moisture and mold at JLE, I would be hesitant about having my child enrolled in a JLE classroom--(especially if their classroom was a portable). I would pull my child from JLE until Calaveras Unified could verify that the HVAC system(s) had been serviced (by a trained/certified individual) as required by state law. I would demand to see the maintenance logs dating back at least two years. I asked for the maintenance logs for room #61 (my wife’s room) and CUSD did not supply any record of ongoing HVAC maintenance. A record of filter changes and maintenance does not appear to exist ... because the maintenance is not being done. There is no protocol being followed, tracked, or verified. It seems the only time they maintain a system is when someone complains of having a headache or gets severely sick. Who is going to be the next victim at JLE? What worries me the most is that School administrators did not notify the families or school community at large of the current condition of classrooms (51, 52 & 53)--closed due to mold and moisture.
The only way to stop this (as participants in an educational community) is to demand verification of required maintenance. Demand that all issues pertaining to mold, moisture, and maintenance be presented immediately (in writing or by phone) to all parents of JLE students. There should be complete up-front honesty (no secrecy) concerning all matters that can affect the health and well-being of JLE students and staff. But I fear, because of inadequate school funds, this same scenario will play out again; unfortunately it's just a matter of time.
For more information concerning these maintenance, moisture, and mold issues at Jenny Lind Elementary go to http://www.sacredschoolgrounds.com/ There is also a link at this site to view current photos of conditions of the classrooms and portables at JLE. Information provided by Allen Lujan.
There is always a cost for procrastination, but there is even a greater price to pay for deferred maintenance and neglect. Because of neglect, procrastination, or deferred maintenance there are currently 2 classrooms closed at JennyLindElementary school due to findings of moisture and mold. These are portable classrooms: #51 and #53. Both classrooms have been closed since early Jan. 2012. Room #52 (sandwiched between 51 & 53) is still being used but has been identified as having moisture issues. It is just a matter of time before #52 (a 24 year old portable) will also be closed. None of these rooms are noted in the JLE 2011-12 SARC Report as needing repair or maintenance; by law they should have been. JLE should not have earned a “Good” standing: (see JLE SARC--Section IV School Facilities). http://www.calaveras.k12.ca.us/sarc/Sarcs/2010-11/JLE.pdf
If you spend a little time on the JLE campus, you can easily see that functional maintenance has been deferred (or put on hold). This is probably and primarily due to a few things (all related to money, time, and inadequate training). If you look at the pictures currently posted at www.flickr.com/photos/sacredschoolgrounds you can decide for yourself if maintenance is being performed at a safe and adequate level. If pictures are not enough, let me share that my wife is not the first teacher to become severely ill or hospitalized from time spent in portable classrooms on the JLE campus. Portables #51, #52, and #53 have sent teachers to the hospital before; they have a known history of causing severe health issues.
Because of the stigma that currently comes with the word "mold,” I believe the Valley Springs community and the parents of Jenny Lind students have not been alerted or informed of these “unoccupiable” and “unsafe” portables. The parents, however, do need to be aware so they can make informed choices concerning the health and well-being of their children. Is this as serious as I make it out to be? Let me direct you to the evidence and you make your own decision. Please don't take my one sided view as your own. Remember, this is personal to me: my wife left Jenny Lind Elementary in an ambulance.
In the mean time, students and teachers spend hours and days in classrooms that may (or may not) be adequately and or safely maintained. It's really a kind of Russian roulette. The only maintenance being done is when an emergency or health risk arises--not out of any systematic or trackable protocol.
The CUSD Superintendent refused to meet with my wife concerning her classroom issues; she asked for a meeting and he agreed to gather the needed administrators. Instead of meeting with her he quickly (within 3 days) terminated her (non reelect for the following year). For the record: the Special Education students remain in room #61 to this day.
For more information concerning these maintenance, moisture, and mold issues at Jenny Lind Elementary go to http://www.sacredschoolgrounds.com/ There is also a link at this site to view current photos and conditions of the classrooms and portables at JLE. Information provided by Allen Lujan—April 17, 2012
To request Maintenance logs and/or records contact:
CUSD District Office: P.O. Box 788
3304 Hiway 12 #B
San Andreas, Ca. 95249 (209) 754-2300 www.calaveras.k12.ca.us/
"Improper disposal or reuse of this container may be
dangerous and illegal."
PRO PAC 9810 Container --Property of Calaveras Unified School District--
The PRO PAC and 900 Series Products consist of aluminum based formulations.
These products are widely used in municipal water, waste water and industrial waste applications:
CUSD operates 2 Waste Water Treatment Facilities:
*Jenny Lind Elementary Waste Water Treatment Pond & Facility *Toyon Middle School Waste Water Treatment Pond & Facility
Has the white PRO PAC 9810 label been removed?
What happens if the label has been removed? How would someone (parent, student, or citizen) be able to identify the container as a PRO PAC 9810 container?
Even if the label has been removed or the container has been repainted, the PRO PAC 9810 containers are easily identified by a specific US Patent number:
When the containers were first identified and brought to CUSD's attention, school was not in session (Summer Break) and students were not on campus using the CHS food court area.
Students, however, have been back in school (and using the food court area) since July 29.
We are now entering week #2 of the 2013-2014 school year and the PRO PAC 9810 containers remain in place at the CHS food court area.
Who is at risk? CHS and CUSD administrators are not at risk; the risk belongs to the students that occupy the food court on a daily basis.
The CHS students are innocent bystanders in regards to this health issue; they have no knowledge or awareness (and thereby no concern) for the durable blue containers chained to tables where they often eat, rest, study, and socialize.
Why not capture the history of the Calaveras Unified School Board meetings (major and minor events, details of dialogue) and leave behind an accurate record for the educational community to access and refer to? Seems like a good idea ... Perhaps replay on Comcast (or You-Tube) and/or give citizens the option to purchase copies to view at home? Video recordings would allow citizens (that aren't able to come to the school board meetings) the opportunity to be informed and up to date on all topics, events, and decisions that impact their children and educational community.
In the board policy of Calaveras Unified you will find a Code of Ethics for the education professional. The code of ethics applies to all teachers and education professionals--those who are role models and leaders to the students of CUSD. These are high ethical standards and are not to be taken lightly. As we already know, honesty and integrity are the foundational pillars of personal character and strength. As parents, we long to have our children seek (and to find) these highly valued traits.
Furthermore, if we expect our teachers (and children) to value these traits, we should also expect our school board trustees to uphold and esteem these very same traits; as they are the leaders and role models in our educational community. Bullying in the Board Room
Preamble: The educator, believing in the worth and dignity of each human being, recognizes the supreme importance of the pursuit of truth, devotion to excellence, and the nurturing of democratic principles. Essential to these goals is the protection of freedom to learn and to teach and the guarantee of equal educational opportunity for all. The educator accepts the responsibility to adhere to the highest ethical standards.
The educator recognizes the magnitude of the responsibility inherent in the teaching
process. The desire for the respect and confidence of one's colleagues, of students, of
parents, and of the members of the community provides the incentive to attain and
maintain the highest possible degree of ethical conduct. The Code of Ethics of the Education Profession indicates the aspiration of all educators and provides standards by which to judge conduct.
Principle II. Commitment to the Profession
The education profession is vested by the public with a trust and responsibility requiring
the highest ideals of professional service.
In the belief that the quality of the services of the education profession directly influences
the nation and its citizens, the educator shall exert every effort to raise professional
standards, to promote a climate that encourages the exercise of professional judgment,
to achieve conditions that attract persons worthy of the trust to careers in education, and
to assist in preventing the practice of the profession by unqualified persons.
In fulfillment of the obligation of the profession, the educator:
1. Shall not in any application for a professional position deliberately make a false statement or fail to disclose a material fact related to competency and qualifications 2. Shall not misrepresent his/her professional qualifications 3.Shall not assist any entry into the profession of a person known to be unqualified in respect to character, education, or other relevant attribute
A Security Officer is Now Posted at Calaveras Unified School Board Meetings
One must ask if this measure has been done in the name of "order and peace" ... or, rather, to intimidate parents, guardians, and citizens from speaking before the five-member board? As a citizen who regularly attends CUSD school board meetings, I believe it is intimidation--plain and simple. As it is, very few citizens (non-school district employees) attend the CUSD school board meetings; even fewer have the courage to speak. Perhaps, now, with a security officer in place, there will be perfect silence; School Board "5" ... Citizens "0" So much for Democracy and freedom of speech.