Air Quality and WSD School Activities - UPDATED

Air Quality and WSD School Activities - UPDATED

UPDATED: 8/16/18

Wenatchee School District school-sponsored athletics and activities officially start Monday, August 20. We take our students’ health and safety very seriously. Wildfire smoke is affecting air quality in the entire region. We are closely monitoring air quality conditions to guide our decision making around school-sponsored outdoor student activities.

Wenatchee School District staff regularly monitor the air quality and conduct regular visual inspections of outside air quality to determine outdoor activity levels for students.

In light of recent information from the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association (WIAA) Wenatchee School District will now be using the Washington Department of Ecology’s Washington Air Quality Advisory (WAQA) system for all decision making surrounding air quality.

Washington Department of Ecology Air Monitoring Network information:

Washington Map

Wenatchee Site

Some users might notice small differences in colors shown on the map on these websites, and those reported on the state's air monitoring network. The map on this website uses the national air quality reporting system called the Air Quality Index (AQI) for calculating the air quality health category. However, the state uses the Washington Air Quality Advisory (WAQA) system of calculating air quality. Both use color-coded categories to show when air quality is good, moderate, or unhealthy. The difference is that the state's WAQA is based on lower levels of fine particle pollution than the federal AQI, providing an earlier alert of potential air quality risks. If in doubt as to which better represents public health risk, we will use the more stringent of the two (i.e. the map showing worse air quality).

School-sponsored outdoor activities including sports and marching band will not be held outdoors when WAQA reaches the unhealthy level of 151-200. During periods of unhealthy air quality everyone may begin to experience health effects; members of sensitive groups may experience more serious health effects. Active children and adults, and people with respiratory disease, such as asthma, should avoid prolonged outdoor exertion; everyone else, especially children, should limit prolonged outdoor exertion.

Once school begins, decisions about outdoor activities, including recess, PE and sports will be made throughout the day, using the guidelines mentioned above. During unhealthy air quality conditions, students will have indoor recess and a reduced level of physical activity.Decisions regarding athletics will be made daily as necessary. When air quality conditions are unhealthy, practices will be moved inside or canceled and games will be rescheduled or canceled.

The WSD Athletic Director, coaches and support staff will notify families whose students participate in school-sponsored activities if any changes are made to games or practice times and locations. Any changes to school-sanctioned high school game schedules also will be posted on their website. No news is good news and means air quality is acceptable for outdoor play.

The Chelan-Douglas Health District advises that parents of sensitive children should follow their health care providers’ advice about prevention and treatment of symptoms, and watch the smoke forecast to decide when to limit their child’s activities.