An environmental assessment is scheduled at Goleta's Dos Pueblos High School after staff members expressed concerns about the number of employees who've been diagnosed with cancer over the past several years.
Santa Barbara Unified District officials say upon learning about this two weeks ago, principal Bill Woodard, district superintendent Hilda Maldonado, and chief operations officer Steve Venz began planning to address the concerns.
According to a press release, district leaders contacted Santa Barbara County Public Health Department for guidance and have also been in touch with the California Department of Public Health Department. In addition, the district has engaged Geosyntec, a firm specializing in environmental risk assessments, to conduct an investigation. Geosyntec brings extensive experience assessing and analyzing environmental concerns and risks, including at schools.
Starting Monday, Dec. 19, Geosyntec will conduct an environmental screening of the campus, including the administration building, to take place over winter break. Among other things, Geosyntec will conduct an array of tests to identify potential indoor and outdoor concerts, including an assessment of indoor air, outdoor air, and soil.
County Public Health will continue to provide guidance as district staff evaluate the Geosyntec report, including recommended follow-up actions. The information learned will be shared with staff and families.
"While there is no way of knowing at this point if an actual problem exists, we will thoroughly investigate, share the information learned, and take any needed remedial actions," said Maldonado, the district’s superintendent, in a press release. "The health and safety of our students, families, faculty, and staff is our top priority."