Tuesday Oct 29th: Air quality update

Good Morning Benicia Community,

Examining the air quality data this morning, we are in the acceptable range to keep schools open and running.  Thank you for your patience as we navigate this new challenge regarding air quality so many communities in California are experiencing. 

Sincerely,
Charles Young
Superintendent

Monday Oct 28th: Air quality update 4

Dear Benicia Community,

We appreciate your patience as we continue to refine our process regarding air quality management. As of now, schools are scheduled to be open tomorrow. We will continue to monitor this closely and will inform you if there are changes. It is difficult to make an accurate prediction of the air quality the night before. These major decisions must be made with the best information available, and that information is not always available until the morning.

Please know, it is our goal to keep students safe and in school whenever possible to ensure that uninterrupted learning occurs. We also recognize how school closures are an inconvenience to families and are very mindful as we make these decisions.

That said, as wildfire events are becoming more frequent, unfortunately a new-normal, we continue to examine and refine our process for determining school closure and directing student activities when school is in session. We also continue to partner with the Benicia Fire Department and the Solano County Departments of Education and Public Health.  

To further inform and refine our decision processes and to provide as much clarity as possible, we are providing the following guidelines should we need to close schools or modify student activity due to poor air quality.

Guidelines:

  • Consult multiple data points including:
    • Airnow.gov
    • Purple Air
    • Air Quality Data from the Benicia Fire Department
  • Refer to the recommendations by the Solano Public Health Department
  • Monitor data throughout the day, evening and early mornings
    • Make school closure decisions are made and communicated as early as possible.

Further, we received many emails today regarding Purple Air monitors, an air measuring device that is privately owned and placed. That being said, we do believe these monitors can be a helpful data point to inform our decisions regarding school closure and student activity. To maximize the potential of these air quality monitoring devices, BUSD has ordered Purple Air monitoring devices and will be placing them at each school site. This way, we can make sure the devices are properly maintained, calibrated and operating correctly. We will use these as one of our data points.

Please know that we will continue to do our level best when making informed decisions regarding school closure and the safety of students and staff. Be sure to check our district website and social media platforms for ongoing updates.

Sincerely,
Dr. Charles Young
Superintendent

Monday Oct 28th: Air quality update 3

Dear Benicia Community,

Due to the changing air quality, BUSD, has decided to have an early release for students. Please come to your student’s site and bring I.D. to check them out at your earliest convenience. Students will only be released to a parent or qualified emergency contact. We will keep all students inside with staff until you are able to pick them up. Our schools will remain open for any students who cannot be picked up. Please remember to keep your students inside after they arrive home. We will update parents by 6 pm tonight regarding tomorrow’s schedule. Again, thank you for your cooperation and support.

For all high school students who drive, we are asking parents to please text your student’s phone giving them written permission to leave school early. We will then release them. If your student rides with another student, you will need to make arrangements to pick them up.

Thank you,
Dr. Charles Young
Superintendent

Monday Oct 28th: Air quality update 2

Dear Benicia Community,

 
As a follow-up to our communication early this morning, school is open in Benicia today.  If you choose to keep your child home due to air quality, your child will receive an excused absence.
 
We use airnow.gov as the official air monitoring website.  This is the site that BFD and our County use to monitor air quality.  Other sites, such as Purple Air, do not have monitoring regulations that can result in accurate readings.  
 

Solano County Public Health recommends the following:

  • For any school in Green and Yellow zones, we recommend schools remain open as there is little health concern for staff and students.

  • For any school in the Orange and Red zones, we recommend schools remain open and limit outdoor activity.  Staff and parents should be advised to determine if they or their child should remain home for health concerns.

  • For any school in the Purple and Maroon zones, we recommend schools be closed. Staff and students should remain indoors if possible.

  • Schools should be prepared for asthma exacerbations by making sure rescue inhalers are stocked and available.

As always we will continue to monitor the air quality and update our Benicia community as needed.

Sincerely,
Charles Young
Superintendent

Monday, Oct 28th: Air quality update

Dear Benicia Community,

We continue, along with surrounding communities, to be challenged by fire and air quality. Currently, the air quality index is measuring 84 and moderate. Schools are open and we will modify student activity today by keeping students indoors during recess.  We will continue to monitor the situation closely as we go through the day. 

Sincerely,
Charles Young
Superintendent

Sunday, Oct 27th: Air quality update

Dear Benicia community,

All schools have power and will be in session tomorrow. Currently the air quality index is a 30 with the air quality registering Good.  We will continue to monitor the situation closely and let you know if we have to change plans, but as of now, schools have power and will be open and in session tomorrow. 

Thank you,
Dr. Charles Young
Superintendent

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District programs, activities, and practices shall be free from discrimination, harassment, intimidation, bullying against an individual or group based on race, color, ancestry, nationality, national origin, immigration status, ethnic group identification, ethnicity, age, religion, marital status, pregnancy, false pregnancy, termination of pregnancy, or related recovery, parental status, physical or mental disability, sex, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, gender expression, or genetic information; a perception of one or more of such characteristics; or association with a person or group with one or more of these actual or perceived characteristics.
The Title IX coordinator for BUSD is the Assistant Superintendent, Dr. Khushwinder Gill.  She can be reached at 707-747-8300 or by emailing TitleIX@beniciaunified.org.
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