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Departments & Services > Health > Fill Use News

9/11/2019 - An Update from Superintendent Cummings Regarding Field Testing Results (9/10/19)

Superintendent Cummings sent the following e-mail to parents on Tuesday evening, September 10th:

Good evening

This is an update on the testing of school fields. There are several pieces of information here. The first is on the field tests conducted by the Fairfield Public Schools. The second to last paragraph details additional areas related to the fill pile at two of our schools. One of these sites, at Osborn Hill, will require further testing. Please see below for details.

We have received testing results on the following school sites

  • North Stratfield
  • Stratfield
  • Roger Sherman
  • Osborn Hill
  • Roger Ludlowe Middle School
  • Fairfield Warde High School
  • Fairfield Ludlowe High School, including Sturges

Testing for all of the above schools indicate that the fields are safe for use and available for activities and games.

Initial testing results on all of these fields had indicated the presence of pesticides. We have worked with the town and state health officials to review the cause of those pesticides and any danger they might pose to students and staff. We have used organic fertilizers and pesticides on all of our elementary and middle school fields since at least 2000. That is State law. [Click here to read] a letter from the state Department of Public Health indicating that the fields are safe for human contact. The pesticide results are likely due to former use of since-banned products whose presence remains in the soil. These remnants do not pose risk to humans although if there were wells in the area they would be a concern. Again, please see the accompanying documentation for confirmation on these results.

We will be posting the test results on our web page,  tomorrow.

As of tonight, we are still waiting for results of the playscape testing. I hope to have that to you soon.

Finally, late on Tuesday, September 10, we learned that the Town had identified additional school sites where fill from the pile had been used. A site at Tomlinson is under a paved area and is not considered a risk at this point because it is contained. At Osborn Hill fill was used during drainage work in 2016. That site is off the field, close to the baseball field. Students will not be able to use the baseball field until the site that requires further testing is assessed and roped off. Students may use other parts of the field. An additional site at Osborn Hill was identified but like the site at Tomlinson, that second site is under pavement.

My thanks to our community for their patience as we took these steps to assure the safety of our children. My great thanks to our administrators and teachers who made adjustments, changed schedules, and worked with parents, student-athletes, and all of our students to make this process work as smoothly as possible. I very much appreciate the frustration with the timeline of this work. Please know that we will continue to keep safety first in our decisions and actions.

Take care,
Mike Cummings
Superintendent of Schools