Sunday, March 25, 2018
Dear Students, Staff and Families,
Environment Management Consulting (EMC) has worked with us directly since last Thursday, March 22, and was with us at our morning briefing meeting today. As of 11:00 a.m. today, we have had no readings above 1 parts per million (ppm) since the 5 ppm reading reported at our 12:00 p.m. briefing on Friday, March 23. Please remember that the American Society of Heating, Refrigeration, and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) safety standard is 9 ppm and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) safety standard is 50 ppm. We are bringing the building back up to fully occupied settings and will continue to monitor CO levels throughout the day and overnight.
We have isolated and tested the boiler and hot water heater in the OAC, the only pieces of equipment that could possibly produce carbon monoxide. Each time this equipment was tested, no CO was detected. As a result, we have not been able to identify a source for the raised levels of CO in the OAC. However, since the CO levels detected have always been below safety standards and have stayed below 1 ppm since the afternoon of Friday, March 23.
With that information, we will resume classes at Oconomowoc High School on Monday, March 26! This message is intended to address any remaining questions, summarize previous communications regarding changes to our operational calendar, and layout our plan as we reopen school on Monday.
Adjustments to the OHS Operational Calendar
- Our school calendar has extra instructional hours built in to account for any unexpected closings that may occur through the year. Even with the cancellation of school on Thursday and Friday, we are still above the minimum guidelines set by the Department of Public Instruction. Therefore, at this time, the last day of school will still be Thursday, June 7, 2018.
- Students who did not reclaim items on Saturday afternoon, will have the opportunity to do so on Monday, March 26, from 7:05 a.m.-7:15 a.m. During lunch on Monday, teachers will be asked to bring any remaining items and the claim forms to the office.
- Term 3 will now end on Wednesday, March 28. We will start term 4 after Spring Break on Monday, April 9.
- Teachers are asked to finalize grades for term 3 by 12:00 p.m. on Friday, April 13. We anticipate publishing report cards later that afternoon.
- Prom Ticket Sales and guest permission forms will be due by 12:00 p.m. on Wednesday, March 28.
- The 2018-2019 master schedule will be published by Tuesday, April 10. Our Student Services Team will communicate any changes to the scheduling timeline.
Reflection and Debriefing
After any emergency response it is important to take time and reflect on what went well and identify areas in our crisis response plan that need to be reviewed. Please note the several ways we plan to reflect on Thursday’s incident in order to continue to ensure the safety of the students and staff at Oconomowoc High School.
- At 8:10 a.m. on Monday, March 26, I will make an all school announcement addressing some key points from last week’s evacuation.
- The OHS Staff will be meeting to debrief on the entire incident on Monday, March 26, at 2:50 p.m. in the Little Theater.
- Students are invited to debrief the entire event as part of my listening session during Pride on Tuesday, March 27. Please sign up for this session or email me directly if you have any ideas or questions about our emergency response procedures.
- Our newly formed Student Safety Commission will have their first meeting during Pride on Wednesday, March 28. Our agenda will be focused on future trainings and how to educate our community on safe emergency responses. Students are still invited to join this team and can register by emailing me directly.
- In observing the evacuation, it is clear that our school community needs to have an ALICE drill. We have scheduled this for Monday, April 30. Additional details will be shared with students, staff and families after Spring Break.
- Meetings are occurring with the school district, first responders, air quality experts and medical officials to reflect on the response to Thursday’s incident. While many parents and students have offered their advice and input we continue to welcome you to share any ideas, questions or concerns with me.
Thank you and Appreciation
There are hundreds of people that deserve our thanks and appreciation for their help and support over the last few days. However, there are just a few groups of people that I would like to express my gratitude to towards in this message.
- First, to our amazing staff at OHS. Everyone put titles aside and did what was best for kids. Together we coordinated the emergency response, arranged for the evacuation of over 1,700 individuals and worked to find a safe way for students to go home.
- I want to extend a thank you to our students. I know the inconvenience of not having your personal items was stressful. However, it may have been healthy for some of you to go a couple of days without your cell phone.
- We need to recognize the support of district officials in helping to coordinate our response to Thursday’s incident. This includes our administrative team and all the administrators, teachers and staff from across the district who supported our efforts. Your emails, texts and willingness to volunteer and help were greatly appreciated!
- Finally, and most important, THANK YOU to our first responders. Students and staff are invited to the Field House during lunch on Tuesday, March 27, to sign thank you banners that will be delivered to the Oconomowoc Police Department, Western Lakes Fire Department, Aurora Medical Center and Oconomowoc Memorial Hospital
I am lucky to serve as the principal of such a supportive community. Our motto “Ocon Pride” extends beyond athletics and extracurricular activities. It is a motto that defines our community and in this case, defines how we set aside titles and differences to unite as one community in order to support each other during this situation. I am excited to continue in our journey together and I look forward to seeing everyone on Monday morning!