Sand Springs schools take steps to prevent future carbon monoxide scares

After a recent carbon monoxide scare at Clyde Boyd Middle School, Sand Springs schools are taking steps to make sure it never happens again anywhere in the district.

Superintendent Sherry Durkee gave updates on the district’s reaction to a half-week school cancellation at Monday night’s Board of Education meeting. CBMS and the Sixth Grade Center were closed for several days last week after students began exhibiting signs of carbon monoxide exposure.

An investigation into the school’s HVAC system revealed 8 out of 47 units at CBMS had become compromised, all of which have now been shut down, and replacements have been ordered. Workers are checking units throughout the district now and detectors are being installed in every single classroom throughout the district.

Durkee says she’s never even heard of a problem like this, that many districts do not have detectors, and some of those districts are reaching out to learn from the experience. Sand Springs will be educating all teachers on detecting signs of carbon monoxide poisoning going forward despite it not being a state requirement.

It’s common for HVAC units to develop leaks over time, and the mass failure was due to many of the units being purchased at the same time and aging simultaneously. The district already has quarterly inspections, exceeding those required by State law.

The Board also approved a resolution allowing Durkee to spend up to $75,000 following an emergency declaration without having to seek Board approval.

The middle school already has fifteen more minutes of instruction time than mandatory each day, so the lost days will not need to be made up.

In other news:

Charles Page High School Performing Arts Instructor Andrea Campfield was awarded a Sandite Spirit Award for her work with the CPHS Drama Department. She recently wrote and directed “When Merry Comes Home For Christmas,” which the Sand Springs Community Theater performed this past weekend.

CBMS students Kaitlyn Gurley and Hunter Cathey were given Sandite Spirit Awards for large donations they made to the Shop With a Cop program that helps provide Christmas presents for underprivileged youth in the area.

CBMS Life Applications for Students (LAFS) teachers Coy Caviness and Brad Ehmke were presented with Coins of Excellence.

The Board voted to rescind ballot language passed in the previous monthly meeting in favor of more specific verbiage that includes band equipment, wrestling mats, desks, and other items that will be purchased following a March bond election. None of the bond election plans have changed, Superintendent Sherry Durkee simply wanted to offer more transparency to the public on what the money will be going to specifically.

The Board voted to enter into an agreement with KKT Architects for designs for the new Central Ninth Grade STEM Academy Project.

The Board approved out of state travel for six district employees to attend the Solution Tree Response to Intervention at Work Conference in San Diego in March.

The Board accepted the resignations of Tammy Green and Dawn Jones, paraprofessionals at the Early Childhood Education Center, and Northwoods Fine Arts Academy, respectively.

The Board approved the hiring of a U.S. History teacher for CPHS, a science teacher at CBMS, and a paraprofessional at ECEC.

The Board voted to accept the resignation of Office No. 1 Board Member Krista Polankski. Because Polanski served more than half her term, the Board is able to either appoint a new member or leave the spot vacant till the next regular election.