School Closure Update & Information
Due to the decrease in air quality and prolonged exposure to unhealthy air, all of Petaluma City Schools, including the District Office, will be closed tomorrow, Friday, November 16th. All meetings and events will need to be rescheduled. District employees, including Classified, Certificated, and District Office staff do not need to report to work. Transportation and South County Consortium employees will need to check in with their Directors. Please safely enjoy the extended Thanksgiving Break.
Thank you for your patience during the recent school closures related to the fires in the Paradise area. Our thoughts go out to those affected directly and indirectly by the fires. We have provided detailed information below regarding the opening of schools scheduled for tomorrow. For your convenience, the information is available in both a short and a long version.
For planning purposes, all schools are anticipated to be open tomorrow, Wednesday, November 14th, and for the rest of the week. All Sonoma County School Districts will do a review of Air Quality Index (AQI) readings early Wednesday morning. Families will be notified at approximately 6 a.m. to confirm whether or not schools will be open.
Using the Sonoma County Office of Education Air Quality Chart, school districts will limit school activities appropriately. The air quality chart will be sent to all staff and families once it is reviewed by local officials and provided to each school district.
This morning, the Sonoma County Superintendent of Schools, Steve Herrington, held a meeting with all 40 Sonoma County School Districts and the County Department of Health Officials. Based on the recent air quality readings throughout Sonoma County, the Sonoma County Department of Health is recommending that all schools remain open tomorrow, Wednesday, November 14th.
Sonoma County Office of Education is preparing an air quality chart document for all school districts and families. It should be available by the end of the day today and we will forward it to all staff and families once it is ready.
There are a number of issues taken into consideration when determining the best place for children to reside during poor air quality conditions. The school district’s infrastructure and ventilation systems are designed to be more robust than most standard residential units. Our school ventilation systems receive regular maintenance and use high-quality air filters that are replaced more frequently than in most residential buildings. Moreover, trained staff are available to supervise and monitor student health and respond if necessary.
Another important consideration is the safety of our students when they are not in school. Given family work schedules, some students may be unsupervised during emergency closures.
All Sonoma County school districts will do a review of Air Quality Index (AQI) readings early Wednesday morning from a number of governmental and weather websites. PCS families will be notified at approximately 6 a.m. to confirm whether or not schools will be open on Wednesday. During the school day, staff will be advised to follow the guidance from the county air quality chart and limit outdoor activities.
Can I keep my child at home during unhealthy air quality conditions?
Yes, please note that families have the right to make decisions regarding the health and well-being of their child. If you feel that keeping your child home due to air quality is in their best interests, we will consider this an excused absence this week.