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Air Quality and Outdoor Activities

Aug. 24, 2018

Medford School District Families:

As you know, the Rogue Valley is experiencing extremely poor air quality due to wildfires across the west. The continued presence of smoke has created multiple challenges for the District’s teams, clubs and summer programs for the past five weeks.

As you prepare to send your children back to school next week, I want to make sure you are aware of our processes and procedures for outdoor activities during wildfire season. Your child’s safety is our top priority.

The Medford School District (MSD) utilizes Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) readings in assessing air quality and guidelines issued by the Oregon Health Authority and Oregon School Activities Association in determining whether to hold activities outdoors, including athletic games, practices, physical education classes, and recess.

If the air quality is “unhealthy for sensitive groups,” "unhealthy," "very unhealthy," or "hazardous" per DEQ's reading, we will not allow outdoor activity for games, practices, physical education classes, and recess. These activities will be held inside when at all possible. Please note that all of our school buildings and all but two of our gyms are air-conditioned.

Our district safety coordinator checks the air quality readings four times a day and sends updates to administrators, athletic directors, and coaches daily regarding whether or not students can engage in outdoor activities.

Please ensure that your school’s staff is aware of your child’s health sensitivities or illnesses that are triggered or made worse by poor air quality.

We realize that conducting physical activity indoors is not ideal, however we must exercise caution with our students. Thank you for your continued support and we look forward to serving your students this school year.

Sincerely,

Brian Shumate

Superintendent