GRAND FORKS — The future for a Grand Forks elementary school and its students is not clear after the city’s school board on Feb. 12 declared an emergency because of mold in the building.
Grand Forks Public Schools is working on a relocation plan for students at West Elementary School, but where the children will go and whether they'll remain together was unclear Monday, Feb. 17. However, it is known that students will have to learn elsewhere while the mold is cleaned up.
Parents in the Grand Forks Neighborhood Schools Alliance say they're waiting to hear the district’s plan before they sound any alarm bells.
"If it was black mold, I honestly think that the school district would've pulled the kids right away if they were worried about spores or anything,” said Amanda Walker, parent of a pre-K child. “The school district is very much good at protecting their children."
For months, the district struggled to decide whether it would close West Elementary. The school board decided against closing it about a month ago.
Walker is one of several parents who say they believe the board won't be using the mold as an excuse to close the school, and she hopes the community will support the district in keeping it open.
"I hope that they have a plan and that they also ask parents and the community for help in making a smooth transition,” she said. “I think that's what we need to do — come together as a community."
The district is holding a meeting for parents of West Elementary students Wednesday to discuss details about the evacuation plan. The meeting is at the school.