As a result of the continuing poor air quality in the Kamloops region, we have decided that elementary school students should stay indoors when the AQHI, as indicated by Environment Canada on its website, reaches 7 or higher.
The website can be found here: https://weather.gc.ca/airquality/pages/bcaq-007_e.html
On the website, Health Canada indicates those with health or breathing problems should stay indoors when the AQHI reaches 7 or above. It also notes that “children should take it easy.” Since we can’t guarantee that students will not participate in strenuous activities during unstructured times such as recess and lunch hours, it is in the best interest of students to keep them inside.
We all recognize that regular physical activity is an important part of the day for students. However, the risks associated with strenuous activity outdoors when the air quality is poor means we must act to protect children.
This direction will not apply in the District’s secondary schools. Secondary school principals, teachers and students will be advised to follow the Health Canada guidelines, as specified on its website.
Lastly, we regognize that air quality is not measured in rural communities. Through the summer, air quality has proved to be much better in some rural communities than in Kamloops, which is situated in a low-elevation valley. Principals in schools outside Kamloops are asked to use their judgement and their senses to assess local air quality to the best of their ability. If in doubt, principals will also be asked to keep children indoors during unstructured play times.