- Helms Middle School
Air Quality Update 08.19.2021
Good morning WCCUSD Community,
The Bay Area Air Quality Management District has issued an air quality advisory due to the wildfire smoke from the fires burning to the north and east of the Bay Area. All schools are open today.
The wildfire smoke has worsened over the past few days, with the air quality forecast in the moderate (yellow) to unhealthy for sensitive groups (orange) range.
We understand that this may cause some challenges as you try to make the best decision for your children’s health. If you feel it best to keep your child at home, we encourage you to do so.
If your child will be in school today, here are a few things you should know about upgrades to the HVAC based on ventilation and airflow in classrooms and other school facilities due to the Covid-19 pandemic:
- We upgraded WCCUSD’s HVAC systems with MERV13 high-efficiency air filters, which will help mitigate the smoke.
- We added HEPA Air filters for those rooms that required additional ventilation measures.
I am in contact with the County Office of Education and County Health Services regarding schools and air quality and the requirements for ventilation in respect to Covid-19. My team will monitor the air quality throughout the day. We recognize the challenge of the wildfires coupled with the Covid-19 pandemic and the need for proper ventilation. We will do everything we can to create the safest environment for students and staff.
We will notify you if air quality conditions change. We encourage you to visit www.airnow.gov to see the current air quality conditions and review this District air quality chart. If air quality conditions move into the unhealthy range, we will take the appropriate steps to limit outdoor activities and possibly close affected schools. WCCUSD stretches over very different areas of the county, from Hercules to El Cerrito, with each geographic area measuring different air quality ratings. The decision to modify outdoor activities or possibly close schools will be based upon each location.
Again, we will be monitoring air quality throughout the day and will update you if conditions change. Please make sure we have your best and updated contact information, check the website frequently at www.wccusd.net, and follow us on social media @westcontracostaschools (Facebook) and @wccusd (Instagram, Twitter) as we will also be posting updates.
Thank you for your patience, flexibility, and understanding.
Dr. Kenneth Chris Hurst