The Hopatcong (N.J.) district has delayed the start of the 2018-19 school year for the third time as it copes with mold contamination in its facilities.
NJ.com reports that classes had been set to begin Friday, but administrators now say students will not return until Tuesday, Sept. 18. Before mold was discovered, students were scheduled to return Sept. 6.
Acting Superintendent Joann Mullane says that school buildings have been cleaned, but the district still is awaiting some test results.
"The start date of school is dependent on these results as the tests indicate if it is environmentally safe to be in the schools as we need to ensure a safe environment for students and staff," Mullane says.
Losing eight days of instructional time has thrown the district's calendar into chaos. As of now, the calendar includes a six-day spring break and lists June 17, 2019, as the final day.
School board president Anthony Fasano says he hopes to avoid taking away all or part or spring break.
However, spring break may end up in unavoidable jeopardy if Hopatcong, as is often the case, has to use multiple snow days.
Mold has been linked by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to a wide range of health problems -- including nasal stuffiness, throat irritation, coughing and eye irritation -- and may contribute to the development of asthma in children.
About 1,800 students are enrolled in the Hopatcong district's five schools—three elementary, one middle and one high.