Back-to-school but not back to normal for Clark County students

UPDATED: September 22 at 9:45 a.m.

Clark County School Superintendent Ritchie Kracht says Black Hawk Elementary is not cleared to reopen. Mold reports indicate that more cleaning and additional testing will be needed prior to opening the building for classes. Running Fox Elementary recieved a clean bill of health yesterday and classes will resume on Monday.

Black Hawk students will remain in the temporary classrooms at the high school and middle school until further notice. A SchoolReach call will be made to parents when Black Hawk reopens for classes.


UPDATED: September 21 at 3:30 p.m.

Good News for Clark County School's. Running Fox Elementary School has passed environmental tests and will reopen Monday. School Superintendent Ritchie Kracht tells KHQA that students and parents are invited to an open house Thursday from 5-7 p.m.

Test results for Blackhawk Elementary School have not come back in. Kracht says he expect those results within the day.

The two schools have been closed since early August because of mold.


UPDATED: August 25 at 2:40 p.m.

Members and alumni of the Culver-Stockton College Education Department are coordinating an effort to provide young students within the Clark County, Missouri school district with classroom books as the district continues to deal with mold issues within two facilities. Black Hawk and Running Fox schools were closed, and classes were relocated to other facilities within the district, before the start of the school year after potentially hazardous mold was discovered in the buildings.

The C-SC Education Department has an expansive collection of books appropriate for students in kindergarten through fifth grade, which will be loaned to the Clark County classes that were temporarily relocated. Coordinators will spend the remainder of the week working to create an inventory and preparing the books for transport.

Lawanda Losey, an education major and 2011 graduate of Culver-Stockton College, has a daughter in elementary school within the Clark County School District. When I heard about Clark County TMs situation, I wanted to help " especially given that my daughter is a student. I thought, we have access to all these books at Culver-Stockton, wouldn TMt it be great to provide Clark County teachers and students some classroom resources to use while their buildings are cleaned, said Losey.

Losey hopes to begin delivering books to Clark County classes by Monday, Aug. 29.


School starts Monday for Clark County, Missouri students and for those affected by recent mold problems at the Black Hawk and Running Fox buildings they will be off to an abnormal start.

You'll remember staff members had cleaned small amounts of mold on some classroom surfaces back in July and continued to monitor things throughout the summer. Then Clark County Superintendent Ritchie Kracht said, "We came back ... and ceiling tiles were covered in mold. It spread over the weekend really bad."

Teachers and students will utilize rooms in the middle school, high school and Pre-K buildings to get class underway and preschool students won't start school until they are able to move back into their regular buildings.

Click here to read a statement to Clark County R-1 parents online.

Here's how students will be organized for class:Kindergarten " preschool building1st Grade " high school Ag classrooms and ITV room2nd Grade " high school band rooms3rd Grade " high school Library4th Grade " middle school band rooms and middle school classroom5th Grade " middle school library and computer lab

The school district also provided additional information about bus pick-up and drop-off times although they will be similar to normal times. Bus drivers called parents directly to give them estimated pick-up times. Click here to read specifics about drop-off and pick-up.

Parents have been asked to avoid dropping-off students or allowing students to walk to school until 8 a.m. as teacher supervision doesn't begin until that time.

Because of the unique situation, students won't be required to bring their school supplies until they are back in their regular buildings.

Since the discovery of mold, engineers and environmental hygienists have surveyed the damage and the ceiling tiles have been removed. Emergency clean-up will be done in the two buildings and as of right now there is no word on how much the clean-up will cost the district, although it does have some insurance coverage for such emergencies.

For Tessa Elam today was like the start of any other school year, but this time she was working in a different building. That's because students in grade K through 5 in the Clark County School District were moved from their buildings at Blackhawk and Running Fox Elementary because mold was found in the buildings a couple of weeks ago. But superintendent Ritchie Kracht says the staff pulled together and they were able to put a plan into place to get school started almost right on time.

"It's been rough the last couple of weeks and last Tuesday when we decided to start school it kinda made things better. We had something planned and to work for and a goal. The staff has done a great job of coming together and doing everything they could to make this happen," said Kracht.

But in the classroom, you can't tell that there was ever a concern. Everything from reading to teaching vocabulary, to hands being raised in the air, it was all on track for these first graders. And for Ms. Elam, what did she think when she heard they were going to be moving her class to the high school?

"I thought what are we going to do with everyone and without the books and all the new schedules. But our administrators have done a great job and getting us into a schedule. Finding a home everyone and finding materials for us to use," said Elam.

And talking about materials, Kracht says the school board will meet Tuesday night to go over the bids that were submitted to clean up the mold and he hopes to have someone one the job either by the end of this week or early next.