As we make our way to winter break and the busy holiday season, I'd like to address a challenging issue our community faced recently. The recent Camp Fire in Butte County brought unprecedented destruction to communities like Paradise, California, and has affected thousands through loss of homes and businesses. Our partners at the Fremont Education Foundation are assisting in the Camp Fire relief efforts. Monetary donations may be made on their website to help affected families and Butte County schools. 100% of the donations will go directly to those in need.
The impact of this fire was also felt here in Fremont as smoke settled over our city for nearly two weeks. The resulting air quality caused by the smoke posed a difficult challenge for our campuses as we worked to limit outdoor exposure for our students and staff. District administration monitored the air quality index continually and maintained contact with state and county agencies to ensure we were maintaining the highest level of safety possible. We instituted our 'rainy day' schedules when necessary, bringing students indoors for lunch, recess and PE classes. We utilized our two-way radios as a quick communication tool to relay information to Principals as conditions changed.
As the air quality deteriorated before Thanksgiving, the decision was made by myself and fellow Alameda County Superintendents to cancel school on November 16th. It was also agreed we will be meeting in the near future to discuss protocols for dealing with similar situations in the future. Consistency in our communications and decision-making is key to progress.
I thank you for your patience and cooperation as we dealt with a unique situation - one we will learn from and make the necessary adjustments to our policies and procedures.
With the arrival of the holidays, I wish you and your family a safe and joyous season.