Displaying student work and instructional aides is an essential part of creating enriching learning environments. From a safety perspective, it’s important to remember there is a right way and a wrong way for hanging such displays – and for removing old ones.
Most of our District’s buildings were built when lead and asbestos were commonly used in construction. The existence of lead or asbestos in paint does not constitute an imminent danger when it is intact. That means it’s important not to puncture, disturb or peel areas that could contain asbestos or lead materials, even inadvertently. This can happen when work is hung from walls, pipes, or ceiling frameworks.
Instead, work or teaching aides should be posted using cork boards/strips previously installed. If needed, glue dots or command strips can be used. It’s best to avoid using tape, string, staples, nails, tacks, or screws on any walls, doors, windows, or shades anywhere in the classroom, to prevent the potential release of fibers or paint chips. Student work or instructional materials should not be hung from ceiling grids, ceiling tiles, pipes, pipe insulation, or lighting fixtures.
During environmental improvement projects, workspaces must be clear of any displays when lead and asbestos paint work is being conducted in District buildings.
Where there are existing displays, the Operations Division urges teachers and administrators to allow licensed contractors to remove the items just before the work begins to ensure adherence to proper lead and asbestos protocols.