Deer Isle-Stonington Elementary School Furnace Issue

posted Mar 2, 2017, 10:58 AM by Superintendents Office
November 7, 2016

Dear Parents & Guardians,

As you heard we had an issue with our furnace at DISES right before 7:00
AM this morning. Somehow, exhaust fumes from the furnace got into the air
in one part of our building. Since it was a little too late to cancel school,
along with not knowing exactly what we were dealing with I determined that
we would send K-8 students to DISHS in hopes of being able to have school
start safely by 9:00 AM at DISES. Unfortunately, we were not able to have
the air issue cleared up quickly and so we had to determine, at around 8:40
AM, that we would need to send K-8 students and staff home around 9:30
AM. After this decision was made we continued to follow our safety plan and
started to make calls to parents & guardians, to send an email with info out
and post on our school’s Facebook Page.

Originally, we announced that we would be sending students in grades K-8
home by bus at 9:30 AM, but it took us longer than we anticipated to get in
contact with parents & guardians. Our need to make sure that everyone was
accounted for meant that students were not dismissed until almost 10:00 AM.

Upon review of all evidence, we believe this problem was a combination of a
back-fire that occurred within the furnace (the unit is in the process of being
cleaned), and perfect atmospheric conditions, which when just right can
allow for some fumes from the furnace chimney to move towards our
school’s air handlers. An issue we are constantly working on. At 11:30 AM
this morning a walk-through of the building by me indicated that the problem
had dissipated and so staff were allowed to re-enter the building. We believe
there will be no other problems later today or tomorrow and look forward to
a regular day of school tomorrow.

Special thanks goes to our students and staff who were wonderful during this
difficulty. Thanks also go to our parents & guardians who also were helpful
as we worked-through this issue.

Very truly yours,

Christian M. Elkington