Dear West Side Families,
As we enter the fall season, student safety is our top concern. This is also fire season, and it is important that schools and families prepare for both wildfires and power outages. Anticipating these occurrences, we want to provide you with the following information to keep you informed about school safety protocols and to help you and your family prepare.
Last year, a comprehensive set of air quality guidelines were developed by Sonoma County school districts to provide guidance for how to protect student health when air quality is poor due to a wildfire or other disaster. They are aligned with guidance provided by a coalition of state agencies in the spring of 2019. More information and resources are also provided on the California Department of Education website.
As you may be aware, PG&E is prepared to implement Public Safety Power Shutoffs (also known as de-energization) when weather conditions put parts of our community at high risk for fire. This important precaution is meant to help reduce the risk of wildfires.
It is important to note that power outages are not new to our county—indeed, many rural schools regularly experience outages due to inclement weather. PG&E is planning to give a 24-48 hour notice based on forecast. In the event of a planned PG&E power outage, West Side will unfortunately have to cancel classes.
Our aim is to communicate our intent to close school as soon as reasonably possible after receiving a notice of an upcoming power outage from PG&E. In some cases, this may come on short notice. Please check the PG&E website for the most current information about your home and school. As well, if a power outage occurs mid-day, we will handle closures on a case-by-case basis, taking into account factors such as the anticipated length of the outage, temperature, weather, road conditions, employee availability and available transportation services.
In all cases, student safety will be our top priority.
Making Up School Days
If we must be closed for several days, then the state will determine if we need to make up additional days. In this case, we will communicate any additional changes to the school calendar as soon as possible.
Should we make the decision to cancel school, we will notify parents and staff via email, telephone, text and local media outlets. Please contact the office if you need to update your contact information.
If you have any additional questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.
The following are some resources to help your family prepare personally:
- Ready.gov: General Power-Outage Information
- PG&E: Public Safety Power Shutoff (including resident alert notification instructions)
- Preparing for Public Safety Power Shutoff
- Power of Being Prepared Fact Sheet
- PG&E: Emergency Supply Checklist
- California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection: Homeowner’s Checklist
- PG&E: Community Safety Measures
- City of Healdsburg: Utility Wildfire Safety