Education

See which Sacramento-area schools, colleges are closed Friday due to air quality

Various views from space of California wildfires and their smoke

The Camp Fire and Woosley Fire and the smoke emanating from them are so intense that they can easily be seen from National Atmospheric and Oceanic Administration satellites.
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The Camp Fire and Woosley Fire and the smoke emanating from them are so intense that they can easily be seen from National Atmospheric and Oceanic Administration satellites.

All of Sacramento County’s biggest public school districts are among many in the region that will close their campuses Friday due to poor air quality brought on by smoke from the Camp Fire burning to the north in Butte County.

Here is the status of the major Sacramento County public school districts, as well as other local districts and community colleges, Sacramento State and UC Davis, as of 5:45 p.m. Thursday.

Sacramento County K-12

  • Elk Grove Unified: All schools will be closed Friday. Schools remained open Thursday with restrictions to outdoor activities. All outdoor field trips to areas affected by smoke have been canceled.

  • Folsom Cordova Unified: All schools and district offices were closed Thursday and will remain closed Friday.
  • Sacramento City Unified: Schools remained open Thursday with restrictions to outdoor activities, but will be closed Friday.
  • San Juan Unified: Schools remained open Thursday with restrictions to outdoor activities, but will be closed Friday.

  • Twin Rivers Unified: Schools remained open Thursday, with restrictions to outdoor activities. Outdoor athletic events and practices were canceled this week. All schools will be closed Friday.
  • Natomas Unified: Schools remained open Thursday with restrictions to outdoor activities but will be closed on Friday.
  • Galt Joint Union High School and Elementary School Districts: Schools were open Thursday with restrictions to outdoor activities but will be closed Friday.

  • Elverta Joint Elementary School District: All schools will be closed Friday.
  • Center Joint Unified: All schools will be closed Friday.
  • Dry Creek Joint Elementary School District: After originally projecting they would remain open through the week, schools will be closed Friday.
  • Arcohe School District: Schools were open Thursday with restrictions to outdoor activities but will be closed Friday.
  • River Delta Unified: All schools will be closed Friday.
  • Robla School District: All schools will be closed Friday.
  • Jesuit High School: The school was closed Wednesday and Thursday and will be closed Friday.

Placer County K-12

  • Roseville Joint Union High School District: All schools were open Thursday with restrictions to outdoor activities and will be closed Friday.
  • Roseville City School District: All schools will be closed Friday.
  • Western Placer Unified: All schools will be closed Friday.
  • Rocklin Unified: All schools will be closed Friday.
  • Eureka Union: All schools will be closed Friday.
  • Auburn Union: All schools will be closed Friday.

Yolo County K-12

  • Washington Unified: Schools were open on Thursday with restrictions to outdoor activities but will be closed Friday.

  • Woodland Joint Unified: Schools were open Thursday with restrictions to outdoor activities but will be closed Friday.
  • Davis Joint Unified: Schools were open Thursday with restrictions to outdoor activities but will be closed Friday.
  • Winters Joint Unified: Schools were open Thursday with restrictions to outdoor activities but will be closed Friday.

  • Esparto Unified: Schools were open Thursday with restrictions to outdoor activities but will be closed Friday.

El Dorado County K-12

  • El Dorado Union: Schools will remain open Friday with restrictions to outdoor activities.

Sacramento-area colleges and universities

  • Los Rios Community College District: All four Los Rios campuses — Sacramento City College, Folsom Lake College, American River College and Cosumnes River College — and the district office are closed through Sunday. All classes are canceled.
  • Sierra College: Sierra College campus locations, except Tahoe-Truckee, were closed Thursday with all classes canceled, and will remain closed until Sunday evening.
  • Sacramento State: The main and downtown campuses were closed Thursday and will remain closed Friday, with all classes canceled.
  • UC Davis: All Davis and Sacramento campuses were closed Thursday and will be closed Friday, with all classes canceled. Only “essential staff” are required to report to work.
  • University of the Pacific: The Sacramento and Stockton campuses were closed as of noon Thursday and will remain closed Friday, except for essential services including campus health centers. All classes are canceled both days.

Elk Grove Unified has about 63,000 students, according to the Sacramento County Office of Education website. Folsom Cordova has more than 20,000.

Sacramento City Unified, Natomas Unified, Elk Grove Unified and San Juan Unified have said in official statements that they were complying with county Department of Public Health recommendations by keeping campuses open Thursday.

Air quality readings in the region monitored by Spare the Air show Wednesday’s conditions reached a high of 253 AQI, considered “very unhealthy,” in parts of Sacramento. Spare the Air says conditions remained in the unhealthy or very unhealthy range as of 7 a.m. Thursday, and were worst in Elk Grove, Arden Arcade and downtown Sacramento.

For many families, cancellation of school creates child care problems, especially on short notice.

“We understand that many of our families count on us to provide students with a safe and supervised environment to go to during the day,” Sacramento City Unified said in a news release announcing schools would remain open Thursday.

After deciding to close schools Friday, the district apologized for the inconvenience to families in a statement, but maintained that the potential health risks posed by air quality outweighed other factors.

All K-12 public schools in the region are on Thanksgiving break after Friday, resuming classes Nov. 26. Colleges and universities in the area are closed Thanksgiving Day and Nov. 23 for the holiday.

In addition to schools, Folsom closed its zoo, the Steve Miklos Aquatic Center and a skate park, according to a news release by the city.

If used correctly, N95 respirators can help filter air to make it safer to breathe. These can helpful when air conditions are poor due to wildfire smoke.

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