With more than 1,500 public and private schools in the San Joaquin Valley, the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District’s Healthy Air Living Schools Program actively engages with parents and administrators at schools and school districts to provide them with free resources to make the best decisions about outdoor activities during air quality episodes.
Among the tools available are signs to discourage drivers from idling in school parking lots while waiting for students, presentations for parents and students, and informational brochures about air quality in the Valley. In addition, the District’s Real-time Air Advisory Network (RAAN) provides current air quality levels with corresponding activity guidelines, allowing schools to make timely changes to outdoor activities when the air quality turns poor or improves. More than 200 schools have added a RAAN widget to their school website to provide current air quality levels as an easy-to-access resource for parents, students and staff.
Some Valley schools have been participating in the District’s Realtime Electronic Air-Quality Display (READ) pilot program which provides them a smart monitor to display current air quality levels for students, parents, visitors and staff to view at the front of the school.
The monitor pulls RAAN data using the school’s Wi-Fi and automatically updates hourly.
The District considers the READ monitors a better alternative to the Air Quality Flag Program, which has been retired. While the flags are still used at some schools, the decision on which colored flag to fly is made the day before based on the worst air quality being forecasted, without taking into account what part of the day that might occur.
With the READ monitor or online widget, anyone can see what the current air quality is at their school.
To learn more or find out if your child’s school participates in the Healthy Air Living Schools program, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.