This afternoon, Milpitas Unified School District (MUSD) Superintendent Cheryl Jordan distributed an email alert informing Milpitas families of school closures this coming Monday, 11/19, and Tuesday, 11/20, which will effectively result in school cancellations ‘til the Monday after Thanksgiving…
Milpitas air quality has been at varying degrees of “unhealthy” for the past week, following the deadly Butte County Camp Fire to our north, which has left 76 people dead and 1,276 people unaccounted for. Weather forecasts initially held out hope for relief late last week, but are now anticipating improvement due to new winds and precipitation expected starting late this Tuesday.
Last week, MUSD informed families that school closures would only occur in the event that Milpitas’ Air Quality Index (AQI) exceeded 300, bringing it into “hazardous” territory.
Meanwhile, some area officials cited school as a good place to be in light of the unhealthy air, given that schools generally offer filtered air conditioning and close teacher supervision.
Many Milpitas parents expressed concern, however, noting that numerous other districts and colleges in the Bay Area had cancelled classes.
On The Milpitas Beat’s Facebook page, resident Olivia Abila commented, “School in session only will cancel when it reaches hazardous. By then our kids will all need nebulizer treatments. Really milpitas unified?”
On Mayor Rich Tran’s Facebook page, resident Raylene Rosa commented, “Yes education is important but it really is not doing any good for the kids who have to walk to and from school and the Junior High and High School students who have no where to be inside during lunch and breaks. This needs some serious reconsideration.”
Yesterday, Superintendent Jordan sent out a mass email to families explaining how the district had made its previous determinations while requesting family feedback: “This past week we have adjusted our outdoor activities according to the www.AirNow.gov air quality index recommendations. On Thursday and Friday, that included indoor lunch, brunch, and PE for our middle and high school students and cancelled after school sports that take place outside, our elementary students had already been on indoor ‘rainy day recess’ schedules. We have been looking at our data and are in the midst of getting feedback from our staff and would like feedback from you as well about the school experience yesterday, Friday, Nov. 16th…”
A link to an online survey then followed.
Today, citing the survey’s results along with info gathered from school staff and students, Jordan wrote that “school will be closed tomorrow and Tuesday, November 19 and 20.”
Per California law, MUSD must clock 180 school days annually. “A revised calendar,” Jordan wrote in her email, “will be sent out next week.”