Longview Public Schools officials will continue monitoring information regarding local air quality being affected by wildfires in the region.
District administrators rely on Air Quality Index (AQI) information provided through the Washington Department of Ecology. Throughout the school day on Tuesday Sept. 5, the air quality index remained at the low end of the “moderate” scale. At this condition rating, schools were advised to monitor students with asthma, respiratory infection, lung or heart disease and provide modifications and rest to normal recess, PE, and athletic activities. Depending on their student conditions, some schools chose to keep their students inside.
As the air quality rating changed to “unhealthy for sensitive groups” in the late-afternoon on Sept. 5, outdoor athletic practices and events were cancelled. This category recommends that students with asthma, respiratory infection, long or heart disease stay indoors and other children should limit activities to light exertion.
As of Wednesday, Sept. 6, the smoke and fine air particle levels increased and outdoor recesses were cancelled. By one measure, the Washington Air Quality Advisory (WAQA) level reached the “unsafe” category. Outdoor sporting events were cancelled and practices were scheduled for indoors.
As of Thursday, Sept. 7, fine air particle levels decreased from the previous day, and both the WAQA and AQI levels remained a low- to mid-range in the “moderate” category. At that level, no changes to outdoor recesses or athletic events were recommended–except for special populations.
As of Friday, Sept. 8, air quality levels measured by WAQA and AQI returned to the “good” category. No recommendations are in effect for that category.
The district will continue to follow AQI and WAQA information and respond to recommendations for levels of air pollution.
Although the district is planning to maintain regular school schedules, parents are encouraged to take this opportunity to sign up or ensure their current information is on file with the district’s emergency notification system, FlashAlert.