Blick in die Klasse 1 A der Anna-Lindh-Grundschule in der Guineastrasse 17 bis 18 in Berlin Wedding. In der Klasse lernen hochbegabte und "normale" Kinder zusammen. Sie singen, lesen Geschichten oder lassen sich von ihrer Lehrerin, Frau Irene Dunkley, aus der Zauberer von Oz vorlesen. Und sie schreiben bereits erste Buchstaben an die Schultafel. Während des Vorlesens können die Kinder ihre Pausenbrote essen und Milch trinken. Während der Berlinale haben sie Bilder aus einem Kinder-Wettbewerbsfilm gemalt und dazu die Geschichte erzählt. Ein anderes Projekt beschäftigte sich mit Steinen. Unterricht, Lehrerin, Schüler, Schülerinnen, Erstklässler, Schulklasse, Grundschule Foto: Kitty Kleist-Heinrich

Sometimes a single letter can make all the difference. In the very first sentence of a letter that teachers, parents and students at Wedding’s Anna Lindh School received on Tuesday, instead of “administrative wing” it says “teachers’ room in the administrative wing”.

And that aptly describes the situation of one of the largest elementary schools in Berlin: Due to persistent mold infestation, headmaster Mathias Hörold had to announce a partial closure of the school again. Part 2 of the building (also called the B tract) and the staff room mentioned cannot be used for the time being. A “health hazard” can be assumed there, and the partial closure serves to “defend danger”.

As a result, a significant number of the 700 or so students have to be taught at a different location after the end of the summer holidays, i.e. from August 22nd. “The unavailability of a total of 20 classrooms due to the partial closure cannot be compensated for within the school,” writes Hörold in the letter that is available to the Tagesspiegel. “There will have to be alternative rooms outside the Anna Lindh School for several classes.”

The existing options are currently being checked for their availability and school usability, Hörold explained. Accordingly, the older years, i.e. classes 5 and 6, should be taught at the other location, which has not yet been specified. For this purpose, a bus transfer is to be set up from the Anna Lindh School.

The school management will work out a plan with the responsible body and school supervisory authority by the end of the holidays, which will ensure that school starts on August 22nd “despite the organizational challenges as largely as possible,” Hörold promises the school community. At the same time, he prepares them for “possible restrictions in the first few weeks of school”. There should be more detailed information at an information event in the last week of the holiday, which is also not yet scheduled.

Mold infestation has been a problem for the Anna Lindh School, which is located in a deprived area, for a long time. In 2021, eleven classes had to stay at home after the Easter holidays. Around 250 students were affected at the time.

As Hörold writes, the mold concentration was measured again in May to check whether “security measures” from the past year were successful. However, in the corridors and stairways in part 2 of the building and in the staff room, excessive levels of pollution were measured in the air.

The reasons are already known: “While part 2 of the building was named as the cause of the mold infestation due to a lack of exterior wall seals in the basement area, in the teachers’ room water damage in the floor area of ​​the tea kitchen, which was insufficiently repaired several years ago, is named as the cause.”

The mold in the basement was found in 2020. In addition, the school gym has been closed since 2015 due to mold. For too long, not enough money had been put into building maintenance because of the savings years in Berlin and the associated budget freezes. Although the district has invested millions in the past five years, the symptoms of mold infestation have been addressed more than the causes.

The school did not rest in 2022 either: in March, the school had to be closed one day after water leaked from the ground in front of an entrance. It was fresh water, so the fire department turned off the water supply. Since the sanitary facilities could no longer be used, the school management was forced to shut down all school operations.

The cause of the damage was a broken pipe. Because the lines are from the construction of the school in the 1950s. It must be this obsolescence.