These monitors are an added measure the district is taking to improve environmental health in our schools. During wildfires or other smoke events, district staff will use these monitors to check air quality levels (AQI) around the district and communicate accurate and timely information to families. In some circumstances, we may change or cancel activities in response to hazardous AQI levels and to protect the health of our students and staff. The monitors detect particulate matter in the air between 0.3μm and 10μm in diameter. Data from the monitors is updated every two minutes. Particulate Matter (PM) 2.5 is dangerous to breathe because the particles are so small they can be inhaled deeply into the lungs and even enter the bloodstream.
AQI Levels over 100 can be dangerous to young children, especially those with asthma or other lung diseases, heart conditions, diabetes, and other sensitivities to air pollution. When levels reach 150 or greater, all outdoor activities across the district will be canceled or moved to an area with a lower AQI. Given the random behavior of wind and air currents, air quality may change quickly. While we do our best to communicate with families in a timely manner, some changes, particularly those with athletics, may be made with little warning.
The possibility of closing schools due to smoke is a complex decision and not one that we take lightly. We typically do not consider closing a school unless the air quality index reaches 200, a level deemed "very unhealthy". To learn more about how to protect yourself and your family from wildfire smoke, visit: beav.es/SmokeReady
If your organization is interested in hosting an air quality monitor, please contact [email protected] to learn more.
Additional Guidance can be found below:OHA: https://sharedsystems.dhsoha.state.or.us/DHSForms/Served/le8815h.pdf