This page provides information on weather-related safety guidelines for extreme heat, impacted air quality, and power shutoff events.

NUSD HEAT PLAN

On September 3, 2019, Superintendent Cosca presented a Heat Plan to the Board of Trustees at their regular meeting.  The Heal Plan is based on the foundational work done by the San Diego Unified School District.  NUSD acknowledges that the distribution of air conditioning across NUSD schools is inconsistent. While discussion around having air conditioning at all schools continues, we believe it serves the community best to have a clear plan for what happens when temperatures exceed identified levels, particularly in schools where air conditioning is not present or is not present in all rooms.

When we finalize this plan and the accompanying documents, the District will generate District Heat Guidelines for continued operations of schools during periods of extremely hot weather. The guidelines will be outlined in an Administrative Regulation. As this work is new to us, plans are currently informal and the Administrative Regulation has not been written.

In the meantime, the NUSD Heat Plan provides a definition for “Extreme Heat,” describes what changes will occur when extreme heat occurs, identifies the source we will use for weather related data, provides other links about heat related concerns, and provides parents with the option to do what they feel is best for their child.

The complete Heat Plan can be found here.

NUSD 2019-20 Heat Plan Temperature Tracking

NUSD Heat Plan

The district will not close schools due to hot weather but may call for minimum days at some schools under specific circumstances. We do not close schools as we believe that our schools are the best place for our students, even in most extreme weather conditions. We also appreciate that parents have the option to pick their children up early or to keep students home from school if they believe that is in the best interest of their child.

Timeline of events for when the forecasted temperature is 95° or higher with a heat index of 103° or higher (benchmark levels) based upon data from http://www.weather.gov, the National Weather Service’s official website.

Day 1 of weather exceeding benchmark levels:

  • Superintendent or Designee will monitor temperatures and communicate to school staff to implement the District Heat Guidelines (in development)
  • If at noon of Day 1, the National Weather Service forecast for Day 2 predicts weather exceeding benchmark levels, a minimum day would be called at schools that cannot provide air conditioned learning spaces for all children for Day 2.

Day 2 of weather exceeding benchmark levels:

  • Day 2 will be a minimum day for schools without air conditioned learning spaces for all students.
  • Superintendent or Designee will monitor temperatures and communicate to staff to implement the District Heat Guidelines (in development)
  • If at noon of Day 2, the National Weather Service forecast for Day 3 predicts weather exceeding benchmark levels, a minimum day would be called at schools that cannot provide air conditioned learning spaces for all children for Day 3.

We will not call a minimum day the first day that weather meets or exceeds benchmark levels. If the National Weather Service predicts that conditions will meet or exceed benchmark levels the following day, a minimum day schedule will be scheduled by noon on day one of conditions meeting or exceeding benchmark levels.

The safety and well-being of our students and staff are a top priority. We want to make sure they are as comfortable as possible so that learning can continue. As a result, our schools will have a number of guidelines in place for planning instruction during extremely hot weather.

Air Quality Information

airnow logo

After extensive consultation with Dr. Matt Willis, Marin County Public Health Officer, and with input and guidance from Marin County school districts, the Air Quality Guidelines for Marin County school districts were developed to assist in the planning and response as air quality issues arise in our community.  This information is meant to serve as a general guideline for information gathering and decision-making. While each district will need to make decisions based on their unique circumstances, these guidelines help ensure a process of communication among Marin school districts, always guided by the public health professionals.

In addition, these steps and guidelines have been developed based on best practices from our own local experiences and from recommendations from the California Department of Education, air quality districts and public health professionals statewide.

Highlights of the Air Quality Guidelines:

  • AirNow.gov is the air quality measurement monitor to assess air quality as is recommended by the Bay Area Air Quality Management District, the California Air Resources Board, and the U.S. EPA.
  • Masks have limitations and the N95 masks require a tight seal to be effective. Masks can worsen breathing difficulty for sensitive breathers or cause deeper breathing, which draws particles deeper in the lungs when not fitted properly.  When air is unhealthy, the best option is to reduce physical activity and stay indoors with windows and doors closed.
  • Specific recommendations for school physical activities is provided (see School Air Quality Activity Recommendations below.)

Marin County Air Quality Outdoor Activity Overview for Schools

School Air Quality Activity Recommendations

Additional Air Quality Information & Resources

Air Quality Index (AQI) Basics

AirNow.gov

PG&E’s Public Safety Power Shutoff

What is a Public Safety Power Shutoff?

For public safety, it may be necessary for PG&E to turn off electricity when gusty winds and dry conditions, combined with a heightened fire risk, are forecasted. This is called a “Public Safety Power Shutoff” or “PSPS.”

While customers in high fire-threat areas are more likely to be affected, any of PG&E’s more than 5 million electric customers could have their power shut off. This is because the energy system relies on power lines working together to provide electricity across cities, counties and regions.

The Novato Unified School District has been working with the City of Novato, Novato Fire District, Novato Police Department and other local agencies since early 2019 in preparation for these possible power shutoffs.  As part of this process, the Marin County Office of Education, various county agencies, and the Marin County Superintendents have developed uniform guidelines for schools to follow in the event of a power shutoff.

Based on the information and guidance we have at this time; we anticipate taking the following steps in the event of a power shut down:

  • If the power is shut down during the normal school day, school operations will continue through the remainder of the school day.
  • If the power is shut down outside of the normal school day, school will be closed until power is restored. Based on estimates from PG&E, Public Safety Power Shutoffs may result in extended power outages of 3-5 days.

When power is restored, schools will be back in session. If power is restored during the normal school day, school will be back in session the following day.

Communication during the power outage – Schools will make every effort to provide updated information regarding status of the outage, using whatever information channels they have available (cell phone, landline, email, texting, social media, local news media) with the understanding that communication systems will be limited.

In order to stay as up to date as possible on the most current information, our public safety officials are recommending that you register your contact information at the following sites:

·         www.AlertMarin.org

·         http://www.nixle.com/

(text zip codes to 888777)

·         PG&E Alerts for Account Holders

·         PG&E Zip Code Alerts for non-account holders (sign up for your school’s zip code)

Here are some additional links with important resources to assist you in being prepared at home.

·         www.ReadyMarin.org

·        www.Prepareforpowerdown.com

·         PG&E 7-Day Power Shutoff Potential

Marin County Office of Education PG&E Public Safety Power Shutoffs – Recommendations for Schools

Oficina de Educación del Condado de Marin Cortes de energía por seguridad pública de PG&E Recomendaciones para las escuelas