The smoke from the Camp fire that has razed the community of Paradise has cast a pallor over the valley for the past week, filling the air with particulate matter that irritates eyes, lungs and makes breathing a challenge for even the healthiest of persons.
CSUS and Los Rios Community Colleges have cancelled classes, so why hasn’t Twin Rivers Unified done the same?
The official word from TRUSD on their Twitter and Facebook feeds is:
All Twin Rivers schools and the District Office will remain open tomorrow, Nov. 14. Due to projected poor air quality in the region as a result of the Camp Fire, all Twin Rivers schools will continue to have recess and P.E. held indoors. All after school athletic programs will be moved indoors until air quality improves. Click here to view Spare the Air’s recommendations for schools on poor air quality days: https://bit.ly/2K3ev2H
All Twin Rivers schools and the District Office are open today, Nov. 13. Because of the unhealthy air quality that continues to plague the Sacramento area due to smoke from the Camp Fire in Butte County, the following precautions will be taken around the district:
- All recesses and PE will be moved indoors until further notice
- All after school sports activities will be canceled unless there is an improvement in air quality.
We will continue to closely monitor the air quality and post updates.
Sacramento County’s Director of Health Services, Peter Beilenson, explained why they suggested not closing schools.
“That’s probably the safest (place) for many kids to be. They’re indoors. They’re often in air-conditioned places that have filters on their air conditioning and they’re not allowed outside for P.E. or recess,” Beilenson added. “As opposed to having kids at home, where parents may certainly be keeping track of them, but it’s more likely that if kids are off school, they will probably go outside.”
Beilenson explained college students spend more time outdoors because they have to walk longer distances to get to their classes.
“They’re more exposed to the elements and they are outdoors a lot of the day. Whereas in the school systems – high school, middle schools, lower schools, as well as preschools – it’s very easy to keep kids in for recess,” said Beilenson.
Another consideration is food access. Many children get their primary meals of the day while in school. If classes were cancelled, these children would likely go hungry.
For today and tomorrow, November 15-16, air quality in the Sacramento area is predicted to be Unhealthy worsening to Very Unhealthy.