Due to concerns about the unhealthy air quality in Freeport and the surrounding areas, a decision has been made to close public schools on Thursday.
The primary reason behind this decision is well-being of the students. Many of Freeport's students walk to their prospective schools, meaning they will be exposed to the poor quality on their trips to the school and back home. Additionally, students who take the bus to school every day need to wait at the bus stops for periods of time. Given the potential exposure to the poor air quality, the Superintendent of Public Schools, Kishore Kuncham and the school board have chosen to exercise caution by closing the schools.
"The concern is about the air quality that is expected to be very unhealthy," Kuncham said. "The air quality alert, which was initially set to expire at midnight today, has now been extended until 5pm tomorrow. Because of the continued concerns that we have, and we have taken into consideration the safety of our students, as many of them walk to school and others also have to be at the bus stop for a reasonable period of time."
While the closure is confirmed for tomorrow, there is currently no decision regarding Friday. The school administration intends to assess the situation on a daily basis, taking into account factors such as wind patterns, which can greatly affect air quality.
A decision regarding the status of the schools on Friday will be made after evaluating the conditions. In addition to the school closure, two extracurricular events have been affected. Two school concert's scheduled at New Visions School and Archer Street Elementary will be postponed to a later date. Similarly, a retiree ceremony that was planned for today is also rescheduled for a later date that has not yet been decided.