Dear AES Community,
Each morning the Health Center checks the air quality readings and calculates the the Air Quality Index( AQI). The Health Center then uses the Recommendations for schools and others on poor air days chart from the state of California to inform our recommendations to the faculty as it relates to air quality. The attached chart is designed for Ozone, but the recommendations for given AQI levels apply universally to other pollutants including particulate matter and carbon monoxide. As the AQI level goes up the air quality becomes increasingly hazardous. The chart is cumulative as you read the columns from left to right. (see attachment)
The Health Center will make one reading in the morning and if the reading is unhealthy or hazardous, they will make a second reading at noon. The Health Center reports the level to the entire faculty and each school office. The physical education teachers will modify the level and duration of the physical activity of their students. In some cases, students with respiratory conditions or asthma will participate in alternative activities indoors. In the worst case, the entire class will move indoors with reduced levels of activity.
On those days with unhealthy or hazardous AQI levels the Health Center will make a second reading to inform the Athletics department and the coaching staff regarding after-school activities and sporting games or practices. In poor air quality conditions, the coaches will modify practices or substitute players more frequently. Special attention will be paid to those athletes with respiratory conditions or asthma to limit their activity or participation all together. In hazardous conditions, the Athletic Director may elect to postpone or cancel sporting events. Again, if you feel your student athlete should not participate in a sporting event or practice, please notify the coaches and your request will be honored. In no case will the decision to exclude a student from participating, whether the coach’s or the parent’s decision, impact the student’s status with the team.
If you have any questions about this protocol, please feel free to contact our Health Center. If you wonder about the modifications taken by the faculty please contact their teacher for classes, the ES Office for recess, or their coach for sporting practice or events. Your child’s health is our highest priority.
We are also working on improving the interior air quality. Recently we met with Kamal Meattle, from the Paharpur Company, to learn about their work is using plants to improve the interior air quality. Kamak was featured on TED talks, www.youtube.com/watch?v=gmn7tjSNyAA. We welcome any ideas or information you have regarding this important topic.Your child's health and safety are our highest priority.
Robert W. Hetzel,Ph.D.