LITTLE EGG HARBOR — Students at Pinelands Regional School District had a dramatically shortened week after construction work at the high school raised concerns about potentially dangerous asbestos levels.

A letter from Acting Superintendent Cheryl Stevenson announced earlier in the week that schools would be closed Tuesday, and an update on the district's website on Thursday reported that schools would be closed on Friday.

Stevenson reported later in the week that Asbestos Air Sampling results showed that results were "found to be within federal and state standards."

"As I have stated repeatedly, the health and safety of our students is paramount and we will reopen as soon as we have written verification from all test results that the school is safe for students and staff," Stevenson said in an online post Wednesday.

Athletic events were allowed to continue but students were limited to the locker rooms and field areas.

By closing on Friday as well, the district gives itself extra time to ensure the buildings are safe next week. According to the district's calendar, schools are closed to students on Columbus Day while teachers are scheduled to have an inservice day. There was no word as of Thursday night whether the in-service day was still scheduled or what the closings would do to the calendar for the rest of the year.

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