November 15, 2018
November 15, 2018

Dear PAUSD Community,

Our staff has monitored the air quality affected by devastating fires in our region. Additionally, we have been in contact with the school districts that comprise Santa Clara County. The Santa Clara County Office of Education provided a news release a short time ago indicating that schools in our area will remain open tomorrow. We met with all site principals this afternoon to review our expectations for tomorrow. All extra-curricular outdoor activities previously scheduled for our sites will be cancelled. Students will have indoor options available for breaks and meals. Please communicate any specific health-related concerns directly with your school site. As a reminder, our schools are all closed next week.

Sincerely,

Don Austin
Superintendent of Schools 

 

Santa Clara County Office of Education Logo

NEWS RELEASE

For immediate release Contact: Summer Reeves
11/15/2018 (408) 453-6824
Santa Clara County Superintendent Issues Guidance Due to Air Quality Concerns

SCCOE to monitor conditions and advise schools

SAN JOSE, CA – The Santa Clara County Office of Education (SCCOE) and the school districts of Santa Clara County after consultation with the Santa Clara County Public Health Department are recommending that schools remain open under current conditions.

"We have received communication from parents and community members who are concerned regarding the current air quality, as County Superintendent of Schools the safety and well-being of our students is an utmost concern. It is my goal to keep students in schools when possible, as schools provide a safe environment. Our goal is to ensure student safety," stated County Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Mary Ann Dewan.

At this time, schools in Santa Clara County are not closing.

"Due to the unhealthy air-quality, the following recommendations have been made to stay indoors and reschedule, cancelling or relocating to an indoors facilities any previously planned or scheduled outdoor activities. We also recommend that everyone avoid prolonged or heavy exertion."

"Our students and their safety are most important and it is our desire that students throughout the county have a safe place and refuge from the current air quality, students are safer and better served indoors within our schools, childcare homes and centers, and preschools."

Schools throughout Santa Clara County will remain open to provide this safe shelter for the students. The SCCOE will monitor air quality through www.airnow.gov and inform schools and after-school programs of the guidelines and recommend that families also stay informed and be mindful of health concerns. If you or your child is particularly susceptible to respiratory or heart trouble, please follow medical guidelines first.

"We are asking that outdoor and strenuous activity be limited, and we are also asking schools to limit time outdoors for staff who traditionally work outdoors, or reassign them to indoor assignments," added Dewan.

Please use precautions as recommended by Santa Clara County Public Health.

The Environmental Protection Agency makes the following recommendations for outdoor activity.

Following the recommendations from the Food and Drug Administration, N-95 respirators are not recommended for use for children as they may not fit properly.

"We have asked our districts to check with facilities teams to ensure ventilation systems are in working order, while replacing filters and HVAC systems as required; and  make sure the system is set to recycle indoor air, and not bringing in air from outdoors," added Dewan.

Resources

·         Santa Clara County Office of Education: Air Quality Guidelines

·         Environmental Protection Agency: Air Quality and Outdoor Activity Guidance for Schools

·         County of Santa Clara Public Health: Avoid Breathing Wildfire Smoke

 

# # #

About the Santa Clara County Office of Education

Working collaboratively with school and community partners, the Santa Clara County Office of Education (SCCOE) is a regional service agency that provides instructional, business, and technology services to the 31 school districts of Santa Clara County. The County Office of Education directly serves students through special education programs, alternative schools, Head Start and State Preschool programs, migrant education, and Opportunity Youth Academy. The SCCOE also provides academic and fiscal oversight and monitoring to districts in addition to the 22 Santa Clara County Board of Education authorized charter schools.