12 October 2017
Dear O’Dowd Families,
I know that the poor air quality is especially hard on lots of students and teachers, especially those with any kind of breathing sensitivity. Today, we are keeping students inside during flex, break, lunch, and P.E. with windows closed. Our ventilation system in classrooms is filtrated. But it is the case that the poor air quality cannot be entirely avoided.
Currently, we are planning on having school tomorrow. We will communicate by email, if that should change. The air quality as of 12p.m. today, based on the Air Quality Index, is a rating of 157, and that is considered “unhealthy.” At this index, everyone may begin to experience health effects. Members of sensitive groups may experience more serious health effects.
According to the Air Quality Index website, if you or a member of your family has asthma or other respiratory issues, make sure to follow your doctor’s directions, and seek care in a timely manner if symptoms worsen. People with heart or lung disease, older adults, and children should avoid prolonged or heavy exertion. Everyone else should reduce prolonged or heavy exertion. If there is any medical intervention that your student needs in order to breathe more comfortably, please take those steps.
Athletics are mostly cancelled for today and tomorrow (away games and matches are being played based on geographical Air Quality Index information, and in dialogue with other school administrations). Field trips are cancelled for tomorrow. We are limiting on-campus activity. We will continue to communicate about closures.
Lots of folks are especially susceptible to breathing issues now. It’s a very uncomfortable reality that we’re all going through. I’d encourage you to make the best decision for your student in terms of school attendance. If your son or daughter stays home, have them demonstrate all appropriate academic responsibility: check schoology, get class notes from friends, email their teachers, prepare for what they’ve missed, etc.
It’s also important that we keep all those people in the impacted counties in our prayers. And let’s pray too that they get those fires under control to avoid further heartache and devastation.
You have our best,
J. D. Childs