SPOONER, WI -- The Spooner Area School District has issued the following press release today, November 12, 2021, regarding the Spooner Middle School situation on Wednesday.

Press Release

This is an update on the situation regarding the Spooner Middle School where a strong epoxy-like odor spread through the school on Wednesday 11/10/2021 causing some students and staff members to become ill and everyone in the building to be evacuated.

The most critical piece of this matter continues to be the health and safety of our students and staff members. In person instruction will not resume at Spooner Middle School until we are assured the environment is safe for everyone in the building.

The school evacuation didn’t allow students to gather computers, materials or other devices prior to leaving the building on 11/10/2021. Students and parents will receive information from the school today about picking up computers, materials and devices on Monday. The Monday pick-up will take place at the Spooner Wesleyan Church. The school will send more information for students and parents about the pick-up process taking place Monday, 11/15/2021, at the Spooner Wesleyan Church. Remote learning will begin for students when they have their computers in hand on Monday. Remote learning for Spooner Middle School students will continue until all students and staff members can return to the building safely. Classes will continue as scheduled for students at Spooner High School, Spooner Elementary School and Washburn County Alternative High School.

The Spooner Area School District has been working closely with local and county officials, The Wisconsin Department of Safety & Professional Services and support agencies. Numerous potential causes of the epoxy-like odor causing student and staff illness have been investigated and ruled out.

The District continues to investigate the matter to determine the source of the strong epoxy-like odor. Advanced environmental sampling is taking place and those results are expected next week. The current focus of the investigation includes a product that was being used in some utility work in the neighborhood when students and staff members fell ill. The sanitary sewer service notification provided to residents prior to the work beginning was not provided to the school. As a result, the school was not able to take the actions that had been suggested to homeowners.

Approximately 36 students and 24 staff members have been treated at local medical facilities since Wednesday’s incident.

Please join us in wishing all of those who have fallen ill a speedy and full recovery.


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