Saskatchewan school boards forced to respond to smoky conditions

Canada’s unprecedented wildfire season is filling the air with smoke and impacting the playground as students return to school.

Saskatchewan set records in Regina, Saskatoon, Prince Albert and La Ronge for the highest annual smoke hours recorded from May to October.

The metric is calculated over an hour and determines whether visibility has been reduced to 9.7 kilometers or less due to smoke.

In response to the smoke, schools across the province are taking precautions.

Saskatoon Public Schools said it is advising staff that it has the option to reduce or reschedule any outdoor activity when air quality concerns are high.

Greater Saskatoon Catholic Schools says they are working on a new draft policy regarding outdoor activities on days when the smoke is too unbearable.

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Regina Public Schools will take a similar approach and have communicated a series of recommendations to principals and administration.

“As air quality deteriorates, they are advised to make local decisions to avoid strenuous activity, drink plenty of water, consider wearing a mask outside, provide recreation options at indoors to at-risk students…and consider taking breaks from being outdoors,” the school said. says the board.

Outdoor educators were also asked to consider reducing outdoor school trips if the air quality index is high.

There is no official administrative policy at this time, but the schools have stated that such a policy is under consideration.

Regina Catholic Schools told PKBNEWS they are entering preliminary discussions on a policy restricting outdoor activities when air quality remains poor – which they say was not necessary until here.

Under no circumstances will cla*ses be cancelled.

Erin Kuan, president and CEO of Lung Saskatchewan, said she commends all schools that put measures in place to protect the health of their students.

“Living in Saskatchewan, we’re no strangers to extreme cold and they have policies in place to ensure kids are dressed properly or kept indoors when temperatures are dangerously low,” Kuan said.

“So we hope they will do something similar when our air quality is compromised. »

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Terri Lang, a meteorologist with Environment Canada, said students and teachers can expect the smoky conditions to continue.

“We are seeing a record level of smoke,” said Terri Lang, meteorologist with Environment Canada.

“It’s going to be around us somehow, whether it’s just kind of a slight tint in the air, maybe the moon or the sun looks a little orange or visibility will be reduced.”

“One way or another, he’ll probably stay with us until the snow falls.”

&copy 2023 PKBNEWS, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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