HLA’s Parent Organization sponsors meetings and events throughout the school year. The Parent Coordinator also distributes an e-newsletter, KOL HLA, to keep parents informed.
YULYA SIROTIN (aka JULES MANCHIK)
1ST GRADE CHAIRPERSON
2ND GRADE CHAIRPERSON
3RD GRADE CHAIRPERSON
NICOLE CONLIFFE POTTS
4th GRADE CHAIR
5th GRADE CHAIRPERSON
6TH GRADE CHAIRPERSON
Please follow the links below to learn more:
Sunday, March 13, 2016
Dear Students, Staff and Parents,
Our HLA community is one of dedication and commitment. Many of you — families and staff members — have been with us for years. We wouldn’t be the school we are without you, and we share your concerns about the odors that have been affecting our school community. We know that there has been a lot of talk, speculation, and worry — and we want to make sure you are receiving the fullest, clearest, most accurate information we have.
It is in this spirit that we write to you to reassure you about the safety of our school. We have been working aggressively to determine the cause of the odors from our neighboring building (more on this below), ensure the safety of children and staff, and get the odors to stop.
Air Quality at HLA
We have performed 3 rounds of extensive sophisticated air quality testing over the last couple of weeks at HLA. We continue to test the air in real time whenever the odor is detected using Photoionization Detectors (PIDs) provided to us by our air quality experts. These PIDs help us to identify whether there are elevated levels of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) accompanying the odor: we want to assure you that the PID readings have never shown any elevated levels. Our air quality experts and the fire department have assured us that the School is safe.
We understand that the odor is disruptive to classroom learning and causing discomfort to some students and staff. This is why, this past Friday, Dr. David Penberg encouraged several classes to take advantage of the spring weather and play outside at the park off of Strickland Avenue. Despite what some people may have heard, it was NOT because of any safety concerns, and certainly was not an evacuation of any kind.
Cause of the Odor
The continued presence of the smell is totally unacceptable, and we are working with attorneys, a team of other experts, and government agencies to address the matter. The odors are the result of a spray-painting operation at Madison Seating LLC, a tenant of the Reds building that is next door to our school.
As a result of our efforts (including support from Councilman Maisel’s office), the NYC Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has inspected the Reds building, and issued a citation for ventilation and filtration violations. Our attorneys have demanded that Madison Seating cease its spray painting until the violations are addressed, but Madison has refused to do so. Madison has told us that it has moved the spray painting operation to the side of the building opposite our school.
Madison has assured us that it is installing a new filtration system in response to the DEP violations, and stated on Friday that it will be completed early this week. Madison has also stated that during this final stage of installation, it will not be doing any spray painting. Our attorneys are in regular contact with Madison’s, and we are doing what we can to monitor the situation at the Reds building to ensure that Madison does what it promises.
Later today, we will be making available a much lengthier Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) document that helps to address every question we’ve received from families and staff. We will also be on site at HLA this week to provide in-person answers to your questions and concerns.
Thank you for being part of our HLA community.