From Superintendent Booker – AQI Response

Wednesday, August 18th, 2021 - Posted in All District News District Communications

August 18th, 2021


Dear Piedmont Unified Community,

I hope the new school year is off to a great start for you and your student(s). With our return to full-time, in-person instruction, we must once again be aware of certain factors that haven’t held our attention for some time. With wildfire season in full swing and worsening air quality expected in the coming days, I wanted to remind everyone of our policy concerning the Air Quality Index (AQI).

In regards to Piedmont Unified’s response to the AQI, Board Policy 3514 remains in effect stating: 

  • Utilizing the Bay Area Air Quality Index Management District (BAAQMD) as a resource, when Piedmont’s Air Quality Index (as measured by BAAQMD) ranges from 101-150 (orange zone), all PE classes are to be held indoors and all strenuous PE activities and athletic programs are canceled.
  • When the AQI reaches 150 (red zone), all PUSD employees will be offered and encouraged to use respirator masks when working outdoors. 
  • Under an In-Person/Hybrid model of Instruction, when the AQI surpasses 200 (purple zone), the Superintendent shall confer with the Board of Education and the Superintendent for the Alameda County Office of Education to determine if a school closure is warranted. 
  • During the COVID-19 pandemic, if the AQI levels reach 101 or above, and the ventilation is shut off, In-Person/Hybrid school will be canceled for the day. 

I believe there has been some confusion as to the last item. This clause would only go into effect if the AQI reaches 101 or above and the ventilation system is shut down. We will NOT automatically cancel in-person school for the day if the AQI reaches 101 or above. This would only happen if we were also forced to shut down the HVAC system. This is an action I do not anticipate having to take unless recommended by our Maintenance team. Our HVAC system is regularly inspected, equipped with MERV 13 filters, and is operating exceptionally. 

I hope this clarifies the District’s procedures concerning AQI. Please do not hesitate to contact your school or my office with any questions. I appreciate your partnership in getting the school year off to a great start. Have a great rest of the week.

Randall Booker, Superintendent

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