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.
- Consult multiple data points including:
- 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.
Dr. Charles Young