Health and Safety Information » AQI/Smoke Day Protocols

AQI/Smoke Day Protocols

Wildfires are part of the California landscape.  They create significant safety hazards for our school community related to fire and smoke. We follow guidance from Cal Fire and the City of Berkeley regarding evacuations, warnings and school closures. 


Smoke can also negatively impact the air quality in Berkeley. When smoke is present, we monitor the Air Quality Index (AQI), using standard measurements identified by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). We will track the AQI utilizing a variety of reliable sources including AirNow/EPA and BAAQMD (Bay Area AirQuality Management District).


The Air Quality Index (AQI) is as follows:

GREEN / Good (0-50): Great day to be active outside!

YELLOW / Moderate (51-100): Good day to be active outside.  Students who are unusually sensitive to air pollution could have symptoms.

ORANGE / Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups (101-150): See below. 

RED / Unhealthy (151-200)

PURPLE / Very Unhealthy (201-300)


In deciding whether or not to open school on days when smoke is present, we look at a number of factors including air quality, likelihood of containment, wind and other weather predictions, and recommendations from agencies such as Cal Fire. We will remain open when we feel it is safe to do so and use air purifiers in all of our rooms.  We believe that a normal routine for our children is one way to respond to these challenges. If the air quality reaches 100, we will keep the children indoors and if it reaches 125, we will consider closing school. During these times, the entire leadership team remains vigilant and up to date on all information so that if the situation does change, we will be prepared to make any necessary adjustments. We will keep monitoring reports and keep you informed of important school and community updates if there are any changes in our plans.