CCSD: Child found in pond behind school 'on road to full recovery'

Updated: May. 18, 2017 at 5:18 PM EDT
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A six-year-old boy found Tuesday morning in a retention pond behind Ashley River Creative Arts School is "on the road to making a full recovery," according to a statement from the Charleston County School District.

In the statement, the district's first official statement since the incident occurred, school officials say the student was discovered in the pond by staff members who were supervising recess on the playground at the time.

District officials say they are actively investigating how the student was able to get on the other side of the locked fence, which is nearly six feet high.

The staff member pulled the child from the pond and immediately began administering CPR, officials say. The school nurse took over CPR procedures when she arrived on scene, and she was then relieved by a Charleston Police officer, the statement reads.

Parents were notified of the incident by an automated call sent at 11:55 a.m. and a letter was sent out to parents via email and in letter form at the end of the day, officials say.

"Principal Cathie Middleton called parents of every student who was on the playground at the time of the incident over the course of the school day and met with school staff following the completion of dismissal," the statement reads.

Police, EMS and fire crews were dispatched to the school Tuesday at approximately 11:06 a.m. Police said staff members were already performing CPR when they arrived on the scene. The child was transported to MUSC for treatment.

The statement does not identify the student, citing the family's wishes and privacy laws.

The retention pond, one of approximately 50 on school sites across the district, is on the ARCAES campus because of a regulatory requirement to manage storm water runoff, the statement reads.

"Management of runoff provides for the reduction of erosion and flooding, and collection of contaminants from pavement, all of which are benefits tot he environment," the statement reads.

District officials praised the school staff who "worked quickly and extremely well with law enforcement and emergency responders," and thanked the community for patience and understanding in the manner in which the information was released.

The district asked the community to keep the student and his family in their thoughts and prayers.

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