PORT MOODY — It’s back to normal for students and teachers today (Friday) at Aspenwood Elementary following an evacuation the previous day.
Classes at the Port Moody school were back in session after a hazardous materials team gave the building a clean bill of health Thursday.
The school was shut down for half a day after several students felt ill with flu-like symptoms in the morning, prompting a call to emergency crews.
More details of exactly what led to the incident are also being made available.
According to a letter to Aspenwood parents posted on the school’s website, a choir was practising for its winter concert when a student fainted.
Shortly after, another student fainted, and in the ensuing minutes, a few other children and a teacher began to feel woozy.
Paramedics were called, and four students and a teacher were taken by ambulance to hospital. As the morning ensued, some additional students were taken for assessment by their parents.
At the request of the fire department, everyone in the school was evacuated on to the field while air quality tests were conducted. Nothing was found, but as an extra precaution, further air testing was carried out. Students were returned to the gym, where an early release was organized.
At the time, Port Moody fire chief Remo Faedo said there was reason to believe there could have been a noxious substance in the school.
School District 43 officials are supporting the principal’s actions.
District spokesperson Cheryl Quinton said it was appropriate to call for medical intervention because there were two children involved initially.
“From a district perspective, it appeared the appropriate measures were taken,” she said.
Parents who spoke to The NOW also praised the school’s handling of the incident.
The letter to parents noted the school has followed up with the families of the students who felt ill, and all are doing fine.