Please note that the information below was sent out earlier via Connect Ed. We are posting it in multiple places in case some did not receive it.
Good Evening, Barrows Parents,
First and foremost, I want to thank you for your patience during the two evacuations this week and to assure you that your child was never in a dangerous or unsafe situation. As soon as the carbon monoxide (CO) monitors indicated an elevated level both on Tuesday and today, we immediately worked with the Reading Police and Fire Departments to assess the situation and evacuate the building. On Tuesday, the elevated CO levels were addressed by making air flow adjustments in our boiler room. As a precautionary measure, we installed three additional detectors and had the Reading Fire Department come in several times since Tuesday to take additional CO readings. Each time the Fire Department took a CO reading, including this morning, the monitor registered a zero, indicating that there were not elevated levels of Carbon Monoxide in the building.
After today’s elevated readings, we have been able to identify the likely cause to be a malfunctioning piece of gas operated cooking equipment in the kitchen. This was most likely the cause of Tuesday’s elevated levels as well because both elevated readings occurred at approximately 11:00 a.m., which is the time that the kitchen staff is preparing the food for lunch. In addition, the piece of equipment was not used to prepare yesterday’s lunch, but was used to prepare today’s and Tuesday’s lunch. All other kitchen equipment has been tested and is functioning properly. We have taken the malfunctioning piece of kitchen equipment offline and will not be using it until it is replaced or repaired.
As a precautionary measure, we will continue to monitor the situation; however, we feel that we have identified the source of the elevated readings. Therefore, we will be having a regular day of school tomorrow.
Thank you again for your patience and cooperation over the last few days. I again also want to commend Principal Leonard and the entire Barrows staff for their outstanding job as we worked to address this situation.
If you have any questions, please contact the Reading Public School Administration Offices at 781-944-5800.