Air Quality

Questions and Answers:

Why is school in session when the air quality condition is in the moderate to unhealthy range?
Schools are a safe place to be during moderate to unhealthy air quality conditions. Trained staff are available to supervise and monitor student health and respond if necessary to assist students with breathing difficulties, headaches or nausea.

In general, school buildings have much better HVAC systems than most residences. School buildings are tighter with fewer air leaks, plus the HVAC systems are designed to create a positive pressure in the classrooms. This means the staff and students are in filtered and conditioned air throughout the school day. Residence HVAC systems shut down when temperature demand is met so allows outside air to leak in through doors, windows, etc. Providing our students with a safe environment is always our top priority.

Can I keep my child at home during unhealthy air quality conditions?
Yes, please note that parents have the right to make decisions regarding the health and well-being of their student. If you feel that keeping a student home due to air quality is in their best interests, their absence will be excused.

General Information:

During an event where outdoor air quality maybe unhealthful we review Air Quality Index (AQI) data from the following websites:

We use the highest AQI rating for the following guidelines:

Air Quality Index (AQI) 151-300 (Unhealthy – Very Unhealthy)

  • Outdoor air intakes will be closed to limit outdoor air entering the building
  • Our nurses will carefully monitor students with respiratory sensitivities
  • Our staff will monitor students for poor air quality reactions such as headaches or nausea

Before School:

  • No student crossing guard duty – please remind students to use extra care when crossing streets
  • Students will go indoors before school rather than play outdoors

During School:

  • No outdoor recess
  • Indoor PE with light activity

After School:

  • Students remain indoors until their after school transportation arrives (including buses and child care vans)
  • No student crossing guard duty– please remind students to use extra care when crossing streets
  • No athletic events
  • No outdoor practice. Indoor practices will not include cardio or conditioning activities. Appropriate alternatives include watching film, stretching, or walking through plays.

Air Quality Index (AQI) over 300:

  • After school activities and athletic practices are cancelled


Pullman School District Air Quality Guidelines