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Message from Principal Anne Park, January 20, 2020



Dear Downes Families,

First and foremost, we want to apologize and thank you for your patience as we work through the sewer issues that have faced us this past week.  We can only imagine what an inconvenience this has been to our families. We appreciate the support and understanding that you have shown this past week.

The Facilities Management Team has been working diligently this weekend to identify and address the cause of the issues that cause the school’s closures this past week.

Here is what we know: On Monday, a vacuum truck was brought in to clear two clogs in the line.  One was located between room 106 and the main office, the other out in the parking lot. After several hours both clogs were cleared, the system was tested numerous times and everything was flowing again. Friday morning we began seeing the same issue in all of the classrooms on the lower floor. The district dispatched support personnel immediately. When a camera was placed in the lines they noted that tree roots had grown into the lines in several areas. Today, Standard Piping is installing a new clean-out over a section of pipe that could not be accessed from the other clean-outs.  They will also grind out any tree roots that have grown into the sewer pipe. Morris Tree Co. is removing the 4 birch trees in front of the school and also two groups of yew bushes.  These are directly over a section of sewer pipe and a source of the tree roots that have grown into the pipes.

We would like to thank the teachers and support staff for workingtogether to make both dismissals flow smoothly.  The Food and Nutrition department did an outstanding job moving 480 students through the cafeteria in 1 ½ hours and making sure each child was fed before leaving for the day. We also would like to thank the facilities department and our custodial staff for their willingness to work extra shifts to get the school ready to open. We appreciate other school loaning us some of their personnel to help with the process, as well. It is the teamwork between all members of the Downes Family that allows us to move forward when we face adversity.

We can assure you that as a school community we continue to be dedicated to providing each child with an environment that is healthy and safe. Again, we deeply apologize for the added stress we placed on you this week and look forward to a smooth remainder of the year.  

Anne Park