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Oakland Unified School District

Air Quality in OUSD

Air Quality Overview

For the last few years, the Bay Area has experienced a number of days with poor air quality due to fires in Northern California. 

OUSD works closely with the Alameda County Office of Education and surrounding districts, and follows the guidelines in the School Air Quality Activity Recommendations. These recommendations were created by several agencies, including the California Department of Education, the California Air Resources Board, and the California Air Pollution Control Officers Association.  

To determine local air quality, district staff monitor several websites, including: AirNow and Bay Area Air Quality Management. When the air is particularly bad, district staff check these sites on the hour so as to be able to communicate accurate information to school sites. District staff also consult with surrounding districts and the Alameda County Office of Education to determine what steps to take to minimize the risk for students and staff.

The possibility of closing schools due to smoke is a complex decision and not one that we take lightly. We typically do not consider closing a school unless the air quality index reaches 200, a level deemed "very unhealthy". See the OUSD Air Quality Index for details.

Read the full August 2021 message from Chief Systems and Services Officer, Preston Thomas, to learn about OUSD's approach to dealing with poor air quality from wildfires in the era of COVID.

Air Quality Updates

None at this time.


Air Quality Index

When air quality is unhealthy, please heed recommendations including:

  • Closing windows
  • Reducing outdoor activities / staying indoors