AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) – Despite a local Head Start getting complaints from parents about mold.
We checked the records, and the school received several reports for being in good standing.
Parents continue to wait for results from an air quality test performed at South Richmond Head Start this month. Since they don’t have the report, some are keeping their kids home from school. And many are organizing, signing petitions in hopes of getting informed soon.
NewsChannel 6 spoke with Tyrhonda Manning, who is Vice Chairperson of the Parent Committee. She said, “When I heard about the mold itself, I was concerned. I was helping our chairperson to get all the information that we can. We had a parent meeting on October 11 to talk about the problem. We had Mr. Bill Mills come and talk to us about it. He told us that on October the 9, that they did an air quality testing and that he would be back with us within a week.”
NewsChannel 6 spoke with Operations Manager Bill Mills about parents’ concerns. He said Augusta Mold Control and Removal did the test. It took place in two parts. The second set of results is not in yet.
“Things take time. Just be a little patient,” Mills said. “I would not advise anyone to go into the building and the building is not safe to go into.”
Mills said the person contracted to inspect the air quality did find mold. And a deep cleaning took place. We later learned from parents that the EOA sent another letter home after our story, sharing that children are NOT at risk and that school closed due to some level of unacceptable risk. It goes on to say that the official report can be viewed only during the week at the main office downtown.
NewsChannel 6 dug deeper to see if South Richmond Head Start had a history of violations with mold or something else. We learned that the daycare is in good standing as seen from its Quality Rated decal shown on the front door.
Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning governs the Head Start and conducts monitoring visits and licensing studies every year. The last one took place in December. Citations were corrected from a previous broken exhaust fan in a classroom and hazards on the playground in April of last year. Still South Richmond kept its three stars.
As for mold exposure, the CDC reports people who are sensitive to it can have symptoms such as stuffy nose, wheezing, and red or itchy eyes, or skin.