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Air Quality Issues

UPDATE: The Bay Area Air Quality Management District has issued an air quality advisory through November 16. All San Mateo Union High School District Schools are open but will restrict outdoor activities including P.E. and vigorous activities.

The District has adopted the San Mateo County Office of Education’s Big Five Shelter in Place protocol typically issued for environmental hazards. Shelter in Place means go inside immediately, and close doors, windows and vents.  

We have received questions about the quality of the air inside classrooms and buildings.

We are leaving our HVAC systems on to allow for an exchange of 15-20% of airflow. This is a safe industry standard that allows for air exchange and prevents the buildup of carbon dioxide in our buildings. Each of our schools has air filters which remove particulate matter from the air (even though students and staff may still may still smell smoke). All staff are asked to keep external doors closed and to limit the intake of unfiltered air.

Staff maintain our filters in each school and building on a regular schedule, and we will check them after this event to ensure their integrity.

We will monitor the situation closely and provide updates as needed.

Thanks to all for your cooperation during a stressful time.



More information regarding air quality can be found on the Bay Area Air Quality Management District’s website.

Big Five School Emergency Guidelines

Coalition for Safe Schools & Communities The Big Five Community Packet