UPDATE: Moscow Charter School also will be closed Monday, according School Administrator Tony Bonuccelli. There will not be any students on campus and no online learning will be provided, according to a post on the school's Facebook page. The school plans to resume its normal schedule Tuesday.
The Moscow School District will not open Monday, instead delaying the first day of school to Tuesday due to poor air quality in the region.
As of noon Sunday, the air quality index in Moscow was in the "very unhealthy range according to data provided to airnow.gov by the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality.
The IDEQ and U.S. National Weather Service have issues air quality alerts through at least noon on Monday.
"Air quality across the region could vary from moderate to hazardous," according to the alert. "Open burning restrictions are in effect. Due to wildfire smoke, health impacts may occur. Pollutants in smoke can cause burning eyes, runny nose, aggravate heart and lung diseases, and aggravate other serious health problems. Limit outdoor activities and keep children indoors if it is smoky. Please follow medical advice if you have a heart or long condition."
Moscow School District Superintendent Greg Bailey sent the following email to parents just after 1 p.m. today. Teachers, staff and parents also were notified by cell phone with a similar recorded message.
Unfortunately, I need to notify you that due to the poor air quality, schools in the Moscow School District will be closed tomorrow, Monday, September 14th.
This includes Moscow High School, Paradise Creek Regional High School, Moscow Middle School, Lena Whitmore Elementary, McDonald Elementary, Russell Elementary, and West Park Elementary.
The closure is due to the air quality in our community currently at the hazardous level, with the expectation this level will continue tomorrow. As recommended by the CDC, we have opened our outside air vents within our HVAC system to the maximum level to help in reducing the possibility of spreading the COVID virus. However, due to the current air quality we had to close these vents and have still received concerns from staff that have been working in the building over the weekend of poor air quality.
All after-school activities are also cancelled unless the air quality improves, and you are notified by a representative of the school district of the change.
At this time, we plan to begin school for students on Tuesday, September 15th. A-group students will attend in person and B-group students will begin with distance learning, Tuesday, September 15th will also be the first day of school for online-only students. Wednesday will remain distance learning for all students. The remainder of the week will follow the regular schedule.
Once again, school is closed tomorrow, Monday, September 14th for both online only and hybrid students.
Gregory J Bailey, PhD
Moscow School District 281