Oakland School District hopes to reopen McClymonds next week – CBS San Francisco

OAKLAND (CBS SF) – Officials with the Oakland Unified School District said Monday they hope to reopen McClymonds High School next week after the multi-day campus shutdown over concerns over a toxic chemical in its air and its groundwater.

Parents of McClymonds students received an update on the toxic groundwater found beneath campus Monday morning at a community meeting.

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The media were not allowed to participate in the meeting.


The district shut down McClymonds last week after the carcinogenic chemical compound trichlorethylene was discovered in campus groundwater over concerns that it had evaporated into the air. The school’s drinking water was not affected, according to district officials.

McClymonds has been closed since Thursday morning and, according to the district, will also remain closed for at least part of this week. Classes were canceled on Monday in addition to last Thursday and Friday.

Oakland Unified spokesman John Sasaki said the roughly 350 students will be spread across three other campuses in the coming days to ensure they can return to class by Tuesday or Wednesday.

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Preliminary results from McClymonds’ air sampling showed no signs of trichlorethylene, according to the district. State environmental health officials stormed the school over the weekend to perform air tests in about 50 locations on campus, including every classroom. Final sampling results are expected later this week.

“We trust this data, but we consider it to be screening data,” said Cheryl Prowell, an engineer with the California Department of Toxics Control. “We really want to see the data from the analytical lab before we say for sure, because the analytical lab is a certified method… We don’t have the same level of control over this field screening method.”

Another community meeting is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Monday at the West Oakland Middle School Library at 991 14th Street.

District officials are also posting updates about the shutdown at ousd.org/mcclymondstce.

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