I appreciate your flexibility and understanding this week as we have tried to navigate the relatively new world of protecting students and staff from poor air quality and the decision to close schools.
As you are aware, I made the decision at 8:00 p.m. yesterday to close schools today, Friday, November 16. I did not make that decision lightly and regret that we were in the position of having to do so.
While this week we were in a position of having to
to conditions, beginning Monday, I will ensure we are in a position to
I fundamentally believe that schools, similar to hospitals, should stay open whenever and however they are able. Many families rely on us not just for a great education, but also for a safe place for their children to be cared for and supervised. Unfortunately, there were too many conditions that our staff could not control that resulted in the decision to close.
One of those conditions is the lack of experience in our area with this situation. Our team of leaders, in consultation with community experts, used today to develop a plan of action and protocol for responding to these conditions going forward. One of the tragic truths about these fires is that they and their impact are likely an ongoing part of our reality throughout California. Poor air quality is something for which we must prepare.
Our team has developed an
for Menlo Park City School District. When you have a moment, please review the
. The document will answer most questions that parents, staff, and community have sent our way and will help everyone understand how MPCSD intends to respond to future conditions of poor air quality.
Using the standards outlined in the Air Quality FAQ, Menlo Park City School District
will be open
for students on Monday and Tuesday, November 19 and 20. Also as outlined in the Air Quality FAQ, parents who wish to keep their children home and have the ability to do so are supported in making that call. The absence will be excused and students will be responsible for making up the work they miss.
What we don’t want to lose in the midst of responding is the fact that the source of poor air quality has left a trail of destruction. Lives have been lost and communities have been destroyed. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the victims of these tragic fires and our deepest appreciation to the first responders who risk their lives to protect others. We have much for which to be grateful.
PS - If you are looking for a way to spend some indoor time, the spectacular Hillview play Ghost Train will go on as planned! Come see Ghost Train tonight or tomorrow. See
for details and to buy tickets.