Students, parents and community members can find accurate and timely updates about the recent lead testing results. However, please continue to count on your school principal for specific details about your particular school. Student safety is our main priority, and we appreciate the partnership, support and understanding of our families and community throughout this process.
Memphis-Shelby County Schools recently performed routine lead testing of all water sources in each of our schools, which is a requirement by state law. During the testing, approximately 3,500 total samples were taken, including faucets, drinking fountains, and ice machines. The overwhelming majority of our schools showed minimal to no traces of lead in any fountains or water sources. Even though most of the affected water sources are not frequently used, as part of the District’s proactive and precautionary process, these fountains were all shut off and immediately removed from use, and they do not have any effect on any other fountains or water sources in the building.
What’s the impact?
While these individual fountains are being taken out of service, all other active water sources in these schools are still available and safe for use.
How did the District communicate the testing and results?
Principals were notified in LeaderBoard about the process prior to the testing on October 11.
Once the first round of results were returned on October 31, in compliance with State law, MSCS notified the State Health Department, TDOC, TDOE, local health department and Memphis-Shelby County Schools Board of Education.
The State provides a five-day window to notify families once final results are received. Within the approved timeframe, and while awaiting the remaining results, MSCS notified families at schools involved in the first wave of results on November 6.
Will MSCS students at impacted schools be tested for lead?
On November 8, the Shelby County Health Department (SCHD) announced that they will be partnering with the District to provide free lead testing for all students at the schools that had positive results.
Testing is available during normal health department hours at all of their local clinics.
No appointment or proof of health insurance is required, but a parent or legal guardian must accompany the child.
For more information about lead and lead screening and testing, please visit the health department website -- www.shelbytnhealth.com -- or call 901-222-9000.