Smoke Days

Additional Guidance Regarding School Closures
Posted on 08/23/2021
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Due to continued poor air quality forecasted to remain for the next several days and possibly weeks or months, the Carson City School District will use the U.S. EPA "Air Now" website to determine whether school will be cancelled.

At the beginning of each school day, the superintendent will review the Air Quality Index (AQI) and the day’s weather forecast. If the AQI is reported at or above 400 by for the 89701 zip code by 5:30 a.m. and the weather forecast predicts that conditions are not expected to improve, all employees, students and families will be notified that school will be cancelled. Additionally, if the school day begins and the AQI reaches or exceeds 400, school will remain in session for the day and students and staff will remain indoors.

On days where the Air Quality Index (AQI) is “Unhealthy” or above 150 AQI, all outdoor activities including athletics, physical education and recess will be canceled or moved indoors.

The district’s building management system adheres to fresh air standards and has taken steps prior to the start of school to contract with a HVAC specialist to perform a HVAC Readiness and Pre-Occupancy Assessment so that staff, students and families can return to the schools with confidence. This activity has been performed on HVAC, filtration, ventilation and domestic water systems. A final engineering report was produced and summarizes the general recommendations of OSHA, CDC and ASHRAE. Additionally, the district has upgraded air filtrations systems to at least a MERV-13 filter for all air-handling equipment. System filters are changed 3 times per year.

The district feels the safest and best place for students to learn during a scheduled school day is in their desk at school. However, parents are encouraged to use discretion. Students with respiratory or other pre-existing health conditions may necessitate individual adaptation. Additionally, if parents have not already done so, the district is asking them to coordinate any medical related needs with the school nurse.

If at any time parents feel that conditions are unsafe to take or send their student to school, they may keep their child home for the day regardless of the district’s decision to hold school. The schools will support the parent’s decision and work with them to make up any schoolwork or assignments. However, students who do not attend school will be counted as absent.

On days where air quality is unhealthy, school buses will operate with all windows closed. For those concerned about their student(s) waiting outside at a bus stop or walking to school, the district invites families to make arrangements to transport their child(ren) to and from school and avoid the unhealthy conditions as best as possible.

The district also reminds families that if parents DO NOT receive a text, email or phone call or see a banner announcement on the district’s homepage indicating a delayed start or school closure, schools will remain open and in session.

If schools are closed because of a natural disaster, inclement weather, accident or any other extraordinary circumstance, per instruction from the Nevada Department of Education, Smoke Days are not considered "days in school" regardless of the digital ability to provide remote instruction. Consequently, neither teachers nor students are expected to participate in remote learning activities during a canceled school day.

On days where school has been canceled, teachers should not assign homework using virtual means and assignments will not be due until the next regular day of in-person school. Additionally, no student activities, schoolwork or programs will occur, including remote instruction via Pioneer Academy. This includes school-course assignments, homework, afterschool programs and practices. No school services such as transportation, nutrition or student health will be provided.

With any school closure, students and employees should expect an extension of the school year, further extending school days in June. As such, families and employees should not schedule vacations or expect to exit the school year before calendar obligations are met. Click here for more information about school related closures.