Pinelands Starts Split Sessions After Construction Issues

LITTLE EGG HARBOR – After several construction issues caused concerns at the Pinelands Regional School District, the high school was closed and the middle school opened with split sessions to accommodate all grades.

The issue began when people complained of strange odors brought on by construction on district buildings. Fear of asbestos and other chemicals prompted the schools’ closure.

Air quality tests reported that all the air was within safe ranges, similar to tests that had been done previously. However, both schools were closed for a week due to that.

However, after students returned, a nail fell from the high school ceiling while school was in session. In response, the administration closed the high school and began split sessions at the junior high.

According to a press release from the district, the executive county Superintendent Daryl Minus-Vincent and Ocean County school business administrator Charles Muller toured the facilities with interim superintendent Maryann Banks and Pinelands administrators on Oct. 16. The split session schedule was discussed with Minus-Vincent during that tour.

“While not ideal, the instructional day created within the split schedule meets the minimum standards for instruction in the State of New Jersey pursuant to law,” the release state. “The Executive County Superintendent has approved our split session plan. We want to stress that this is a temporary, short-term solution, and that we expect to be back in the high school on a full schedule sometime in mid-November.”

The five days that the district was closed will be added when the school calendar is revised, the release stated.