Air Quality

We are well into the fire season, and unfortunately, have already had our first bout of smokey air pass through Moraga. Our response to the smokey air is complicated by COVID protocols as well as the location of the high-quality EPA AQI sensors (Oakland and Concord). While we realize the Purple Air sensors are not as sensitive as the EPA ones, we feel using the sensors near the school is a better choice than relying on the distant EPA sensors. When using the Purple Air app, our menu settings are EPA PM 2.5 AQI combined with the US EPA conversion pull down.

Our protocols for responding to poor air quality are informed by the California EPA guidance

We monitor air quality throughout the day and offer these parameters according to the Air Quality Index (AQI) for some school operations:

Moderate (yellow 51-100)

  • Avoid heavy exertion in PE. 
  • Monitor students with sensitivities

Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups (orange 101-150)

  • PE may be held outdoors with little to no physical exertion
  • Outdoor recess will be offered with reduced time and low physical exertion.
  • Preschool, Pre-K move indoors
  • Students with asthma and other respiratory issues should be monitored closely and should stay indoors and not participate in physical activities.

Unhealthy (red 151-200)

  • All physical activities moved indoors – we often use space at the Holy Trinity Church to move outdoor activities inside, including recess and PE.
  • Lunch held indoors.
  • Students with asthma and other respiratory issues should be closely monitored and should not participate in physical activities.

Very Unhealthy (purple 201-300)

  • See “Unhealthy Red”
  • Consider closing schools (COVID-19 considerations might require closing schools)

Hazardous (maroon 301 and above)

  • See “Very Unhealthy Purple”
  • Close School

We hope this brings you more clarity on how Saklan will approach any upcoming days with poor air quality. 

Saklan students participating in indoor activities due to poor air quality.

Author: The Saklan School Friday Blog

The Saklan School is a private Pre-K through 8 school located in Moraga, CA. Our mission is to think creatively, act compassionately, and live courageously.