Sonoma County Schools Air Quality Guidelines
Over the last several months, Sonoma County school districts have consulted with air quality management districts and public health experts to update the air quality guidelines as needed based on new information and expert guidance. These guidelines represent a consensus of the Sonoma County Office of Education, Sonoma County Public Health Department, Bay Area Air Quality Management District, Northern Sonoma County Air Pollution Control District (NSCAPCD), and all Sonoma County school districts.
We are hearing from numerous experts that, in most cases, schools are one of the safest places to be. For example, the EPA identifies schools as potential “cleaner air centers” where, if they are properly equipped, they can provide students or community with better air during a smoke event. While this may not be the case for every family and student, we must consider the safety of students who do not have the option or resources to access clean air at home. This is a complex and evolving issue and, unfortunately, there are no easy answers. Local educational leaders are continuing to seek and act on the best information available.
Please take time to look at the guidelines and read the information below. The guidelines are not mandatory but are meant to assist schools in making these difficult decisions. Ultimately, each school and district must decide what is in the best interest of their students based on local conditions.