Affected schools in Ocean View School District have been shut down for the past seven days after an asbestos fiber was found in a wipe test at Hope View Elementary. Asbestos was also detected in two other classrooms at Lake View Elementary, according to the district.
Parents expected to have their children back in the classroom Tuesday but officials say placing more than 1,700 students and teachers in a matter of days has been an enormous challenge.
Officials said Tuesday Hope View, Lake View and Oak View elementary schools will be dispersed to several other schools within the district and neighboring districts by Thursday.
“We are in the process – and have been for the last six days – of trying to overnight find a school district of over 1,700 kids,” Ocean View District spokesman Tom DeLapp said. “We are trying to find locations for them that are safe, clean, healthy, well-stocked and ready to go.”
Parents were invited to meet Tuesday with school officials and a panel of medical experts to look at health risks posed by asbestos. While medical professionals assured parents there are no harmful levels in the schools tested, many left with more questions than answers.
“I only came here to try and find out if I should be keeping my kids home, if it’s OK to send them, if I should be worried, and I didn’t get any answers,” parent Megan Ducat said.
“We don’t know when they can come back because they don’t know. It’s a little late, how we’re getting the information…” parent Nicole Miller added.
The abatement process is expected to take two to three months; however, it’s unclear how long students and teachers will need to be relocated.
Parents at Hope View are being told that they will have to bus their kids to Westminster or as far as Buena Park.
Additional information on relocations and updates are available on the Ocean View School District website.