Mabel Elementary School Update

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*UPDATED Saturday Feb 4, 2012*

As reported here, and on the facebook page Thursday night, Mabel Elementary School closed on Friday due to possible water quality issues.

Here’s a release from Watauga County Schools explaining the situation at Mabel School on Friday.

“Update on School Closing at Mabel Elementary
Here is background information and our expectations of how developments are expected to occur at Mabel over the next 24-48 hours. This information is current as of Friday, February 3rd at 7:30 p.m.
The concerns at Mabel that led to closing the school today were the result of routine water testing at the school. Test results received late yesterday from the Health Department indicated the possible presence of bacteria in water from a kitchen sink. Based on those results, the decision was made to close the school as a precautionary measure pending further tests. There is no information to indicate that the health of students or staff has been affected in any way by the water quality at Mabel.

The additional tests being conducted include a re-test of the original water sample as well as new tests of water samples taken this morning from the school well, from the same kitchen sink where the previous test indicated the possible presence of bacteria, and from another interior sink at the school. The Health Department will draw additional samples tomorrow. The complete test results will confirm whether or not there is actually a water quality problem and will help isolate the problem if one exists. If there is a problem, the results will also help inform us of how to best address the issue and how much time may be required to do that.

The testing process takes 24 hours after samples are drawn. Re-test results on the original sample came back late today and they were negative, which may indicate that the initial results provided a false positive for the presence of bacteria. However, full results for all samples will not be available until Sunday.

While we want to make a decision on resuming a normal schedule at Mabel as soon as possible, and while we hope that the school will re-open on Monday morning, our number one priority is the health and safety of our students and employees. Because of that priority and because of the time required to complete the testing process, we expect it will be Sunday afternoon before we are able to announce whether Mabel will resume a normal schedule on Monday. When that decision is made, it will be announced immediately through the Alert Now automated messaging system (for Mabel families), on the WCS website, and through local media.

We regret the inconvenience this is causing to students, parents, and school personnel and we look forward to the resumption of classes at Mabel as soon as possible.

Thank you for your patience and understanding as we work toward a resolution of this issue.”

Here’s the link to the statement
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Mabel Elementary will be closed for students, staff, and faculty on Friday, February 3rd, due to possible water quality concerns at the school.

This closing is a precautionary measure pending the results of additional testing of water at the school. The closing will NOT affect school bus transportation for high school students who live in the Mabel community.

Additional information about this situation will be announced as soon as it is available on Friday, February 4th.

Information per Watauga County Schools website

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