Malfunctioning boiler sickens several students at Cheshire elementary school


CHESHIRE — Educators determined a malfunctioning boiler was to blame for several elementary school students who got sick in Cheshire Tuesday.

Officials dismissed Highland School students early Wednesday after learning the children fell ill. They had just been on a field trip the day before and educators weren’t sure if the source of the illness was from the school or the trip. Some of the children had elevated levels of carbon monoxide in their system. The school was dismissed at 10:55 a.m. so educators could  investigate the situation.

The maintenance staff determined a malfunctioning boiler was releasing carbon monoxide into the building by the rooftop air units. The boiler was shut down and is being repaired. Officials said it had last been serviced in November of 2015. No problems were found on the bus the students were on or at The Institute for American Indian Studies, which was the site of the field trip.

School is expected to resume as scheduled Thursday.

Students also reported diarrhea, but that is not a symptom associated with carbon monoxide exposure. School leaders believe the illness was viral in nature and are disinfecting rooms in the school.

Wednesday night’s planned parent teacher conferences have been canceled. Another planned field trip to the The Institute for American Indian Studies for Thursday will occur as scheduled.