Dear AUSD Families and Staff:
I know that this is a difficult time for all of us as we experience consequences of the devastating fires in Northern California. I want to reassure you that the District has been monitoring the air quality in Albany since the fires started. Over these past couple of days I have also been in consultation not only with the Alameda County Office of Education but also with other local municipalities.
We have surmised that it's a huge burden for families with younger children when we cancel school, and we know our most vulnerable children often do not have access to air filters & masks at home, so school is a safer place for them to be.
Our main considerations are whether kids are actually better off at home than at school, and the impact on families with younger children of closing schools. We realize the situation is very stressful for teachers, staff, students and families; in these circumstances, it's not always clear how best to protect health and support those who lack power at home, who need to report to work today, and all of the other potential hardships families face. We simply do what we believe is best, while respecting all perspectives.
While as individuals, you have to make the decision regarding whether or not your child should attend school, the District will make a decision on a day-to-day basis as to whether the schools should remain open. Please know that we will notify you immediately should we determine that, for the safety and health of our students and staff, schools will be closed.
Frank Wells, Ed.D.
Superintendent of Schools
Albany Unified School District