By Mekenzie Burse
Throughout the past weeks, California has suffered from many fires causing horrible air conditions and tons of visible smoke in the air. An abundant amount of students were complaining about coming to school due to this air quality. Many had to wear masks to block out the smoke.
On the air quality index (or otherwise known as AQI), 0-50 is healthy, 51-100 is considered moderate, 101-150 is unhealthy for sensitive groups, 151-200 ranked unhealthy to all, 201-300 is very unhealthy and 301-500 could potentially be hazardous. According to an email sent on November 15th, Independence High School’s principal Mr. Berg states that, “At this time, schools in Santa Clara County are not closing. We have elected to use a threshold of a 275 air quality (AQI) to determine when to close schools based on guidance from the Santa Clara County Public Health.” Air quality’s have reached up to the rankings of very unhealthy, but did not meet the standards of cancelling school.
Since the air quality had gotten noticeably poor, the East Side Union High School District sent an email to staff, parents and students regarding the way it works. The email reads, “When the air quality reaches 150, all outdoor physical activity (PE, Marching Band, ROTC, practices, etc.) will be canceled. If there is an athletic event and the air quality reaches 150 by 2 pm, the game will be reschedule to another day.”
Football games, practices and many more outdoor activity have gotten postponed due to the poor air quality, some events even cancelled and will not be active this school year. Having smoke in the air is very dangerous for all, and could possibly harm a lot of people. Air quality has gotten way better than it was in the past weeks, ranking now around 50.