Montclair High School Closed Wednesday For Second Day Due To Stairway Collapse

Montclair High School will remain closed to students Wednesday due to a stairway collapse on Friday.

BOE Vice President Joe Kavesh told Baristanet “The Board and the District are focused on student safety. We are thankful that no one was injured.”

Some students had a close call with the stairs.

Superintendent Kendra Johnson made this announcement regarding closing school on Wednesday to parents/guardians Tuesday afternoon.

Greetings Montclair Public Schools Parents/Guardians:

We are fully committed to keeping our staff and students safe. To that end, on Wednesday, September 12, 2018, we will once again close Montclair High School for students and staff The purpose of this closing is to further analyze the structural soundness of each staircase at Montclair High School and to finalize the plan for a tentative, two-hour delayed reopening on Thursday, September 13. The rationale for the two-hour delayed reopening for students only is to allow sufficient time for staff to prepare for instruction using a modified facilities utilization plan.

Today, we continued to assess our high school buildings and created a modified facilities utilization plan. For your consideration, the Annex was cleared for full use, and select areas in the main building were also cleared.
Regrettably, we will not have full access to the Main building, and therefore, we will close Montclair High School again tomorrow for one final inspection. For the safety of our students, staff, parents/guardians and visitors, I am directing that both buildings remain closed to all students, all parents/guardians, all visitors and all staff (only exceptions include: (1) select facilities team members focused on a ground level project and (2) district facilities consultants – engineers, vendors and architect). Select sports teams will be allowed to practice using the Field House and associated fields only. Coaches received a communication regarding this topic yesterday.

Using a modified facilities utilization plan, it is our tentative plan to reopen Montclair High School on September 13, 2018. Provided our modified facilities utilization plan is approved, we will tentatively reopen using a two-hour delay for students only. Staff report at the regular time. For the two-hour delay, first period classes will begin at 10:00 AM (there will be no zero period classes).

Here are my ongoing commitments to you:

Focus on Safety – I will continue to make critical decisions that promote the safety of our students and staff. Safety is always the focus.
Ongoing Communication – I will continue to provide daily updates on or before 5:00 PM. In the update, I will inform if there are any changes to the opening of school the following day. My goal is to assess the building daily to make an informed decision. Safety is always the focus.
Status of the Repairs – Our district architect and Director of Building and Grounds will provide an update to the Montclair Board of Education on September 17, 2018 at or around 7:45 PM. If you are interested, you may attend the Board Meeting or watch the Board Meeting live on Channel 33. The meeting will be posted to our district website within 72 hours of the meeting. Safety is always the focus.
Thank you in advance for your support. Enjoy your day!

With excellence, equity, social justice and access,

Dr. Kendra Johnson, Superintendent

Montclair Public Schools

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