As we begin a new school year, student safety and comfort is a top concern. This is also fire season, and it is important that schools and families prepare for both wildfires and power outages. Anticipating these occurrences, we want to provide you with the following information to keep you informed about school safety protocols and to help you and your family prepare.
These air quality guidelines were developed by Sonoma County school districts to provide guidance for how to protect student health when air quality is poor due to a wildfire or other disaster. They are aligned with guidance provided by a coalition of state agencies in the spring of 2019. More information and resources are also provided on the California Department of Education website.
As you may be aware, PG&E is prepared to implement Public Safety Power Shutoffs (also known as de-energization) when weather conditions put parts of our community at high risk for fire. This important precaution is meant to help reduce the risk of wildfires.
It is important to note that power outages are not new to our county—indeed, many rural schools regularly experience outages due to inclement weather. In the event of a planned PG&E power outage, we will close schools and alert families as soon as possible to inform you of such closures. Please note, power outages may not impact all schools within our district at the same time. In this case, only the schools with power outages will be closed.
Our aim is to communicate our intent to close school as soon as reasonably possible after receiving a notice of an upcoming power outage from PG&E. In some cases, this may come on short notice. Please check the PG&E website for the most current information about your home and school. As well, if a power outage occurs mid-day, we will handle closures on a case-by-case basis, taking into account factors such as the anticipated length of the outage, temperature, weather, road conditions, and available transportation services. Under most conditions, we will continue our school day and plan for regular dismissal times.
In all cases, student safety will be our top priority.
Making Up School Days
Should we need to close school for either of the above reasons, our district may have to make up classes by using in-service days built into our school calendar. If we must be closed for additional days, then the state will determine if we need to make up additional days.
Following are some resources to help your family prepare personally:
- Ready.gov: General Power-Outage Information | Fact-sheet on power outages for kids
- PG&E: Public Safety Power Shutoff (including resident alert notification instructions)
- Preparing for Public Safety Power Shutoff
- Power of Being Prepared Fact Sheet
- PG&E: Emergency Supply Checklist
- California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection: Homeowner’s Checklist
- PG&E: Community Safety Measures