WILTON, Conn. — In response to parents' concerns regarding indoor air quality at Miller-Driscoll School— Wilton’s oldest school— the district will conduct a comprehensive evaluation, Superintendent Gary Richards announced Tuesday.
“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.”
Last month, the Miller-Driscoll Parent-Teacher Association asked the town to retest the quality of the school’s air after a number of complaints from students and staff. The district, Richards said, is now working to identify and hire a certified HVAC consultant to examine indoor air quality at Miller-Driscoll.
After the examination, Richards said 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.
“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.”
In addition to retesting the air quality at Miller-Driscoll, Richards said all the schools will be retested for radon in the coming weeks. Although radon tests were performed in November, Richards said the state rejected the results because certain protocols were not met. For example, windows were left open and the tests were conducted on a professional development day, when the buildings were not at full capacity.
The radon retesting will be completed at no additional cost to the district and all results will be made available to the community, said Richards.
The district is also planning to re-engage Wilton schools in the Environmental Protection Agency’s “Tools for Schools” program, Richards also said. Through the program, committees are tasked with reducing exposure to indoor environmental contaminants through the voluntary adoption of sound and effective indoor air quality management practices. The committees will seek involvement and guidance from parents, said Richards.
Bruce Likly, chairman of the Wilton Board of Education, said he is supportive of the steps Richards has outlined for the district to take.
“This plan is proactive and responsive to the school community,” said Likly. “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 school board at its regular meetings and posted on the district website.