Healthy and Safe Schools Information Page

Radon Testing Information

  • 6/24/20

    As a follow up to the 1/6/20 communication, the District completed long-term re-testing of certain rooms at Columbia City Elementary. Long-term testing occurred in rooms whose initial test results were between 4.0 pCi/L and 8.0 pCi/L as prescribed in the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Oregon Health Authority’s (OHA) radon testing and mitigation for schools. The test results indicated radon levels were still above the EPA's recommended action level of 4.0 pCi/L.

    Accordingly, the District will now institute a long-term Radon Management Plan for those rooms which may include, but not be limited, to bringing in an environmental consultant, radon mitigation specialist and/or installing radon mitigation equipment.

    1/6/2020

    As a follow up to the 11/26/19 communication, the District initiated short and long-term
    re-testing of certain rooms at Columbia City Elementary.

    Short-term testing occurred in rooms whose initial test results were equal to or greater
    than 8.0 pCi/L as prescribed in the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Oregon
    Health Authority’s (OHA) radon testing and mitigation for schools. After initially adjusting
    the HVAC settings as recommended in EPA and OHA guidance, results indicated radon
    levels were still above the EPA's recommended action level of 4.0 pCi/L. Accordingly,
    the District will now institute a long-term Radon Management Plan for those rooms
    which may include, but not be limited, to bringing in an environmental consultant, radon
    mitigation specialist and/or installing radon mitigation equipment.
    Meanwhile, long-term testing has been initiated for rooms where initial test results were
    greater than 4.0 pCi/L but less than 8.0 pCi/L. These tests are still ongoing with results
    anticipated in mid-June. An update will be provided at that time.

    11/26/2019

    In accordance with the District's radon testing plan, the following buildings were tested for radon in November 2019: Columbia City Elementary, CRYC, District Office, Family Resource Center, Maintenance Shop, Middle School, and Plymouth High School.

    Columbia City Elementary had radon levels above the Environmental Protection Agency recommended action level of 4.0 pCi/L for short-term measurements. Based on the EPA and Oregon Health Authority recommendations for schools, we will be performing short-term and long-term re-testing at Columbia City Elementary.   

    St. Helens School District Frequently Asked Questions

Lead In Drinking Water

  • The District has developed a periodic testing, rehabilitation and communication protocol in accordance with the Environmental Protection Agency’s 3T’s Revised Technical Guidance which includes the following:

    • Identify sources of lead: All taps used for drinking or food preparation in school buildings and facilities are tested to identify any lead problems. Oregon Health Authority (OHA)-accredited drinking water laboratories analyze samples for lead.
    • Stop access: Access to water taps that have more than 20 parts per billion (ppb) of lead are prevented. This includes a variety of methods, including but not limited to shutting off taps, covering water fountains, and providing bottled water to students and staff members.
    • Communicate: Results from tests for lead in water are available to students, families, and the community as quickly as possible. Test results will be made public and posted to the district website here: www.sthelens.k12.or.us/healthyandsafe.
    • Mitigate and correct: Sources of lead in building plumbing are replaced in accordance to EPA guidance.

Integrated Pest Management (IPM)

  • Effective July of 2012, Oregon Revised Statutes Chapter 634.700-634.750 requires all Oregon public schools, kindergarten through community college, to implement IPM practices.

    IPM is a pest management strategy that integrates multiple tactics including sanitation, pest exclusion, cultural, mechanical and other non-chemical methods. It uses the most environmentally and economically sound manner to control a pest.  Since IPM focuses on remediation of the fundamental reasons for pests, pesticides are rarely used and only when necessary. 

    All school districts are required to develop a written Integrated Pest Management Plan.  The one for the Saint Helens School District can be viewed below.

    School districts are also required to designate an IPM Plan Coordinator from among their staff.  The district's Facilities Manager, Jared Plahn, has been appointed to that function.  He can be contacted by: Phone: 503-397-4677

    When pesticide applications are necessary, they must be used in accordance with state and federal law.  A pesticide is any substance or mixture of substances intended to prevent, destroy, repel or mitigate any pest.  Pests can be insects, mice and other animals, weeds fungi or micro-organisms.  Pesticides is a broad term that includes insecticides, herbicides, fungicides and rodenticides.

    Pesticides in public schools are restricted to application by a licensed applicator.  Saint Helens School District has three staff that have their pesticide applicator license.  The Saint Helens School District will only apply pesticides on the approved list of low-impact pesticides.