Air Quality Guidance

Information on Determining School Closures Due to Air Quality 

  • Utilizing the Fire & Smoke Map, located on the AirNow website and app, the area air quality is analyzed using the official EPA and other sensors throughout the Truckee Meadows. When a majority of the sensors are in the hazardous (301 or above) range the National Weather Service will be contacted to obtain a forecast of anticipated wind patterns and strength. If the air quality is expected to remain the same, or worsen, school will be canceled. The same will apply to Gerlach and the schools in Incline Village.

Procedure for School Administrators

  • There are times throughout the school year, especially in the fall and winter months, when air pollution levels are higher than typical. Because air quality levels can vary from one area of the county to another, and because principals know their students and school, each principal must assess conditions around the school to decide whether to keep some or all of their students indoors when air quality is poor. 
    1. Check for current AQI at your location throughout the day. AirNow AQI updates every hour at 31 minutes past the hour.
    2. If smoke is present, check the Fire and Smoke Map AQI at a monitor/sensor nearest to your school.
    3. Implement suggested actions for the current AQI level. See WCSD Air Quality Guidance for Schools and Athletics.
    4. Visually monitor the air and the kids, especially if outside, for any indication of conditions worsening. If sensor data does not match what you are experiencing at your site, use your best judgment. Refer to the Visual AQI Estimation Guide.
    5. Check the forecast for the next day to plan ahead. 
    School administrators are encouraged to take a conservative approach to student health and safety, keeping all students indoors and deferring outdoor aerobic activity when levels reach 151 or higher.
    For questions or more information, Student Health Services can be reached at 325-8570.