Posted by Communications Department on 10/28/2019 7:00:00 AM

All schools, except Pinole Valley High School, are open today. While the smoke has worsened over the last three hours, air quality levels have not reached the levels at which we would consider school closures and forecasts indicate that the air quality should improve later in the day.

We understand that this may cause some challenges as you try to make the best decision for the health of your children. 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, there are a few things you should know:

First, heating and cooling systems have been shut down to prevent smoke from being drawn into our buildings. This means classrooms will likely be cold when students arrive in the morning. Please make sure your child brings a warm jacket or sweater.

Second, principals have been directed to keep students inside as much as possible, including for recess, lunch, PE and after school programs.

Third, all outdoor practices and games have been cancelled until the air quality improves.

Fourth, if your child is experiencing health challenges due to the air quality, please contact your health care professional.

Finally, the District will not distribute masks to students. The District is taking guidance from Contra Costa County Health Services, which advises that masks are not a substitute for staying indoors, are not effective for untrained users, and may be dangerous for people with lung or heart conditions. In addition, respirators that are effective in filtering out smoke particles (like the N-95) do not come in sizes suitable for children.

Thank you for your continued patience. We will send you updated information if the situation changes. If you have any additional questions, please contact your school principal.