UPDATED ON JANUARY 16, 2018: CUSD SCHOOL CLOSURE AT CLOVIS EAST & REYBURN
Following the weekend clean up by representatives from the Fresno County Department of Health, Environmental Protection Agency and PARC Environmental, the campuses of Clovis East High School and Reyburn Intermediate School have been confirmed ready to re-open after the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday weekend as scheduled.
- Crews have tested every room on the campuses and confirmed that they are clean of mercury.
- Mitigation work included removing carpeting and room contents from a handful of classrooms, and cleaning hard surfaces. Assessments were completed before and after the mitigation efforts to confirm the clean-up job was effective at removing all of the metal from classrooms and a sidewalk on campus.
- Two classrooms require complete re-carpeting, and classes that meet in these rooms have been relocated for the coming week. One other classroom had carpet patched and will be re-carpeted in the coming weeks.
- To date, there have been no adverse health effects related to the schools reported to Fresno County Department of Public Health (media contact is Jordan Scott, 559.666.0987).
The expansive and immediate response by our school site leaders, Fresno County Department of Public Health, and our local law enforcement and public safety personnel is a testament to the priority placed on the safety of our students. The quick response by the Environmental Protection Agency officials, even in the face of the massive public health fire, flood and mud-slide clean-ups the agency is engaged in around the state is especially appreciated by our District leadership. School staff has been in direct communication with any staff members or families of students directly or peripherally impacted by this incident to ensure they are kept well informed of mitigation work throughout the past five days. We are pleased to be able to assure our community with certainty that the campuses are cleared of any remnant of this metal, and look forward to resuming school on schedule Tuesday morning.
UPDATE: CUSD SCHOOL CLOSURE AT CLOVIS EAST & REYBURN
Clovis East and Reyburn have been closed today, Jan. 12, to allow for assessment and clean-up of classrooms that may have been impacted by the presence of loose mercury brought to school by a student. The precautionary measure was made in conjunction with the Fresno County Department of Public Health and the Environmental Protection Agency. The schools are expected to re-open Tuesday, Jan. 16, following the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday.
RELOCATION OF CO-CURRICULAR EVENTS SCHEDULED FOR THIS WEEKEND
The following activities that were originally planned to be held at Clovis East have been rescheduled to be held at other facilities.
CE Girls Basketball – New location, Clovis North
Freshman 4 p.m., small gym; JV, 5:30 p.m., small gym; varsity, 7 p.m., large gym
CE Boys Basketball –New location, Clovis North
Freshman, 7 p.m., small gym; JV, 4 p.m., large gym; varsity, 5:30 p.m., large gym
CE JV Girls Soccer – New location, Clovis West
JV, 3 p.m.
CE Varsity Girls Soccer –New location, Tice Park
Varsity, 3 p.m.
CE JV Boys Soccer –New location, Clovis West
JV, 3 p.m.
CE Varsity Boys Soccer – New location, Tice Park
Varsity, 5 p.m.
Elementary Wrestling tournament – new location, Granite Ridge Gymnasium
Little Hoopsters on Saturday at Clovis East is cancelled.
Frequently Asked Questions
What happened? We learned Thursday that a student had brought loose mercury to school and distributed it to a handful of students. Fortunately, no one has reported any adverse physical effects from contact with the mercury. Each of the students to whom the mercury was given has been contacted, and their families have worked with health officials to ensure they are protected from any risk of exposure to this potentially dangerous substance. As we investigated this incident, and through testing of the campus, it was determined that a handful of classrooms had residue and would require cleaning by crews trained in hazardous material removal. In order to keep the campus clear of students while this work is completed, classes were cancelled for Friday, January 12.
When will school re-open? We anticipate that the schools will open January 16th as regularly scheduled after the Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday.
How many people are sick because of this? To this point, no one has reported any adverse symptoms of mercury exposure, but we are taking no chances and took steps to notify our entire community of the signs to watch for in case a student or staff member was exposed to mercury.
How will I know it is safe for my child to return to school? We are working closely with experts in hazardous material mitigation and will only reopen school after being assured by these experts that the campus is clear of the presence of mercury.
Why were the schools closed? The schools were closed after specialized hazardous materials teams working with the District and Fresno County Department of Public Health determined that there was residue present in a handful of classrooms on the campus of mercury after a student brought the substance to school on Thursday. The action to close the school campus was made out of an abundance of caution so that no student or staff member may come into contact with traces of mercury during clean up.
What if my child was in one of the classrooms affected? Unless your child is exhibiting symptoms of mercury exposure- rash-like skin irritation, burning in the nose or breathing difficulty (which would be a sign to seek immediate medical attention) it is unlikely that they were affected. As an extra precaution, hand washing, and making sure any clothes worn to school Thursday are washed thoroughly, is suggested.
If a student or staff member believes that they may have come in contact with the loose mercury, which is a silver, molten substance that looks like a ball bearing, please take steps to minimize any continued exposure. If anyone has reason to believe that they have loose mercury in their home, they should contact 911 to coordinate disposal of this substance.
Was Fancher Creek involved? The first report of the presence of mercury on our campus was made at Fancher Creek Elementary, where a Reyburn student had arrived by bus to meet a relative. Though it does not appear that there was any residue of mercury left at the school, we are taking the extra precaution to have teams trained in hazardous material removal clean the room on Friday and have therefore closed it to the public. No additional impact to Fancher Creek or its student body is evident.
What about co-curricular events scheduled for today or this weekend at Clovis East or Reyburn? We are relocating those events to other venues and individual coaches or advisors will be in contact with students and their families with updated plans so these events can still take place.
Will Clovis Unified help me receive medical treatment if I believe I have been exposed? Any employee or student who believes they may have been exposed to mercury while on the Reyburn Intermediate or Clovis East High School campus and is interested in being evaluated by a medical practitioner may contact the Clovis Unified benefits department at 327-9124 to coordinate a visit to a healthcare provider. This number will be staffed over the holiday weekend should anyone need to make contact outside of regular business hours.