Hays CISD elementary school to close following mold discovery

A Hays CISD elementary school will be closing after a concern about a mold smell in a classroom.

Hays CISD said Hemphill Elementary in Kyle will close from Thursday, Nov. 2 to Wednesday, Nov. 8.

Following a concern about a mold smell in a classroom at Hemphill Elementary, and a subsequent air quality test, mold has been discovered at the elementary school.

As crews worked to remove the mold in the suspect classroom on Wednesday, they found the mold was more pervasive than originally thought. It was discovered that at least 13 classrooms are affected in areas behind the walls from the floors up to about 3-feet above the floors.

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Crews believe students will not be able to return to the campus until Thursday, Nov. 9.

The air quality test revealed the initial classroom had elevated levels of Aspergillus/Penicillium, which according to the Centers for Disease Control, can affect people with weakened immune systems or cause allergies.

Hemphill Elementary School students will continue to have access to meal service weekdays while the school is closed beginning Friday, Nov. 3. This grab-and-go meal service will be similar to what the district did when all schools were closed during the COVID pandemic.

Hays CISD has enough instructional minutes to accommodate two full days of missed instruction without the need to make up the days. The district will be working with the Texas Education Agency, seeking a possible waiver for the remaining days of missed instruction so that students will not have to come to school on days that have already been scheduled to be holidays later in the year.