• Dear Parent or Guardian:

    By law we are mandated to provide an update on the status of asbestos in the school district.

    In the past, asbestos was used extensively in building materials because of its insulating, sound absorbing and fire retarding capabilities. Virtually any building constructed before the late 1970's contained some asbestos. Intact and undisturbed asbestos materials generally do not pose a health risk. Asbestos materials, however, can become hazardous when, due to damage or deterioration over time, they release fibers. If fibers are inhaled, they can lead to health problems, such as cancer and asbestosis.

    In 1986, congress passed the Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act (AHERA), which requires schools to be inspected to identify any asbestos-containing building materials. Suspected asbestos-containing building materials were located, sampled (or assumed) and rated according to condition and potential hazard. Every three years, Meyersdale Area School District has conducted a re-inspection to determine whether the condition of the known or assumed asbestos-containing building materials (ACBM) has changed and to make recommendations on managing or removing the ACBM. At the last re-inspection, conducted in 2007, all materials listed in the Meyersdale Plan as asbestos-containing (or assumed to be asbestos-containing) were inspected and their condition did not warrant any further activities at this time (i.e. removal or encapsulation).

    The law further required an asbestos management plan to be in place by July 1989. Meyersdale Area School District developed a plan, as required, which has been continually updated. The plan has several ongoing requirements: publish a notification on management plan availability and the status of asbestos activities; educate and train its employees about asbestos and how to deal with it; follow set plans and procedures designed to minimize the disturbance of asbestos-containing building materials; and survey the condition of these materials every six months to assure that they remain in good condition.

    During the past year, no asbestos related activities were conducted at any school buildings. There are no asbestos related activities scheduled for any school buildings in the upcoming year.

    It is the intention of the Meyersdale Area School District to comply with all federal and state regulations controlling asbestos and take whatever steps are necessary to ensure students and employees a healthy and safe environment in which to learn and work. You are welcome to review a copy of the asbestos management plan in the school office during regular business hours, which are 8:00 am to 4:00 pm. Mr. Dan Johnson, Supervisor of Buildings and Ground, is our designated asbestos program coordinator, and all inquires regarding the asbestos plan and asbestos related issues should be directed to him at the Maintenance Office.

    Very truly yours,
    Tracey A. Karlie, Ed.D.

    Superintendent of Schools