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Board of Education Approves New Protocols for Unhealthy Air Days
Posted 10/1/21

At its public meeting on September 28, the Board of Education approved protocols for responding to unhealthy air quality due to wildfire smoke. 


AUSD developed new protocols because the recommended response to COVID-19 (increase air circulation, improve ventilation, and take students outdoors as much as possible) conflicts with recommended responses to wildfire smoke (shut off air circulation and ventilation, bring students inside, and close doors and windows).  


Under the new protocols, when the “air quality index” (AQI) is between 150-200:

  • Students will continue to eat outdoors unless schools can find more inside spaces for lunch
  • Ventilation systems will stay on so that Merv 13 filters can continue to filter wildfire smoke
  • PE/recess will be held outdoors,  but students will refrain from vigorous exercise or
  • PE/recess will move indoors if distancing and masking are possible
  •  USD will excuse absences for families opting to keep students home

When the AQI goes above 200:


  • In-person school will be cancelled
  • Athletic practices and games cancelled
  • Multi-day school closure would trigger temporary online learning

The new protocols will stay in effect until June 2022. 


More information is available on our Air Quality Alerts web page.