Two South Jersey schools will be closed for the next several weeks after tests revealed mold in the school buildings.The Buena Regional School District said Monday that the Dr. J.P. Cleary Elementary School in Minotola and the Collings Lakes Elementary School were closed due to the possible presence of mold.

Both schools were both closed Monday after the mold was first detected over the weekend and then, after further investigation, a decision was made to keep the schools closed until the mold problem can be mitigated.

Students will not return to either school until it’s deemed safe by health experts. Officials say they are working on different schooling options for students during the mold removal work.

The school district released this letter to the community on Monday night:

As you may already know, the Dr. J.P. Cleary and Collings Lakes Elementary Schools were closed today in order for outside professional agencies to conduct further inspection and testing regarding the recent detection of mold. In consultation with these professional agencies, the administration was notified this afternoon that mold was present throughout both schools. Consequently, the schools will remain closed throughout the remediation process. Cleary is anticipated to be closed for approximately three weeks, whereas Collings Lakes is anticipated to remain closed for two weeks. Students and staff will not return to either school until the professional  agencies determine that the schools are  safe for occupancy.

The health and safety of our students and staff is our foremost priority, and will remain such with all decision-making. Maintaining educational consistency is also a top priority. After consulting with the Atlantic County Office of Education, our administration is currently working to consider options for the potential relocation of students in order to resume educational services while Cleary and Collings Lakes Elementary Schools are within the remediation process.

I certainly understand the complexity of feelings that you may be experiencing-anxiety, anger, and confusion- to name a few. Our administration and Board of Education are working closely with the outside agencies providing professional services, as well as the Atlantic County Office of Education, to assist our district during this time. We are sensitive to the needs of our school community and are working diligently to resolve this issue in a manner that will insure the health and safety of all. We will continue to respond to all telephone calls as promptly as possible, and will strive to maintain transparency throughout this process. Please continue to check our website for more information in the upcoming days.

Thank you.

Sincerely,

David C. Cappuccio, Jr. Superintendent of Schools

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