The Wilton Public Schools issued a press release Tuesday, Jan. 14 regarding Indoor Air Quality at Miller-Driscoll School. They announced they will be conducting a new, comprehensive indoor air quality review at Miller Driscoll, as well as taking other steps designed to be more transparent to the public.
This follows on the heels of increased questions and concerns from parents about radon testing, CO2 levels and other hygiene issues at the school.
Last week, GOOD Morning Wilton published a Special Report on the issue, which included two separate interviews–one with school superintendent Gary Richards and one with concerned parent Marissa Lowthert. In the days following, the Miller Driscoll PTA issued a statement and principal Cheryl Jensen Gerner sent a letter home to parents regarding what she felt were unfair accusations directed at her.
The press release states:
“Superintendent of Schools Gary Richards announced a series of steps the Wilton Public Schools will take to evaluate indoor air quality at Miller-Driscoll School and pledged to take action to address any issues that may be discovered. The District’s plan, which will include an examination of Miller-Driscoll by a certified Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) specialist, is in response to questions that have been raised regarding air quality at Miller-Driscoll, the town’s oldest school.
“‘I want to assure parents that the air quality at Miller-Driscoll is safe.’ Richards said. ‘Ensuring a safe and healthy climate for all students and employees is a core responsibility of my administration.
“‘That said though,’ Richards continued, ‘I am pleased to announce the following steps.’
- Immediate plans to identify and hire an independent HVAC consultant to examine indoor air quality at Miller-Driscoll. The district will request an analysis, follow all recommended guidance, and share the results of the independent analysis with the community in a public forum.
- Immediate retesting of all schools for radon. Last fall Richards acknowledged that the Wilton Schools had unintentionally failed to conduct radon testing in accordance with a state-mandated schedule. When testing was conducted in November 2013, it was discovered that certain ‘testing protocols’ had not been followed, which caused the test results to be negated. Those testing protocols included windows that had been left open, and scheduling of the tests on a professional development day, when the buildings were not at full capacity. Each building will be retested – at no additional cost to the district – in the coming weeks, and all results will be made available to the community.
- Immediate plans to reengage the Wilton Schools in the Environmental Protection Agency’s ‘Tools for Schools Program,’ which includes development of committees including parental involvement and guidance for reducing exposure to indoor environmental contaminants through the voluntary adoption of sound and effective indoor air quality management practices.
“‘A number of media articles and other communications have been circulated in recent weeks that present conflicting information or raise questions about Miller-Driscoll air quality,’ Richards said. My goal is to respond to questions from the
school community and to make sure that we provide accurate, comprehensive and timely information to our community.’
“Bruce Likly, Chairman of the Wilton Board of Education, expressed support for the steps outlined by Dr. Richards. ‘This plan is proactive and responsive to the school community. It ensures that the school administration will continue to take all steps necessary to ensure student and teacher safety.’ Status reports will be provided to the Board at its regular meetings and posted on the District web site.”