May. 16, 2023
The provincial government uses the Air Quality Health Index (AQHI) to share the air quality with Albertans in each community. Alberta Health Services recommends reducing the levels of outdoor physical activity to decrease the inhalation of airborne pollutants as individuals may experience temporary irritation of eyes and throat and possibly shortness of breath.
May 23 Update
Due to improving air quality conditions, all heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems in CBE schools are being reset today to maximize fresh air intake. We will continue to monitor conditions over the coming days.
May 19 Update
Given the improving smoke forecast for Friday, May 19 (predominantly moderate risk), indoor and outdoor restrictions have been lifted and schools are resuming normal operations. We will continue to monitor conditions in case air quality should suddenly deteriorate. All heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems will continue to be set to minimize fresh air exchange until air quality further improves. The CBE will be monitoring conditions over the long weekend and will provide guidance to schools on Monday, May 22 in preparation for the return to classes on Tuesday, May 23.
May 16 Update
Today's sudden influx of wildfire smoke is a reminder that everyone needs to be prepared for a variety of weather conditions.
As with other extreme weather events, the CBE uses information from government and works with local partners such as the Calgary Emergency Management Agency (CEMA) and Alberta Health Services to monitor conditions and recommend precautions and actions.
At this time, schools have been asked to restrict outdoor activities. As smoky conditions continue, decisions will be made based on local conditions in the school community. Poor air quality may mean the postponement or cancellation of activities during lunch and recess, as well as learning, extra-curricular activities and field trips.
The following measures are currently in place to support the health and safety of students and staff:
- All heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems that are centrally automated have been adjusted to minimize fresh air exchange until the air quality advisory is lifted;
- For schools with HVAC systems that are not centrally controlled, facility operators are manually adjusting the system to minimize fresh air exchange. Please note that CBE facility operators are qualified 5th Class Power Engineers and are well trained in the operation of the school building systems; and
- We are closely monitoring CEMA and provincial authorities for any direction and guidance on the air quality situation and will notify schools if the situation requires additional measures.
We know these conditions impact every family differently. If you make the decision that your child will not be attending classes, please ensure you contact your school's attendance line to report the absence.
This page will be updated as the situation evolves.
Air Quality Guidelines for Outdoor Activities
Air Quality Health Index (AQHI) is defined and measured by Environment Canada. Below are the recommended restrictions for outdoor activities related to air quality:
Low heath risk
Continue as normal
Moderate health risk
Consider restricting levels of activities. Reduce the intensity and duration of any strenuous activities. Provide resting periods. Consider indoor recess for students with health issues that maybe impacted by air quality.
High health risk
Reduce or reschedule strenuous activities outdoors. Consider indoor recess and lunch supervision for all students.
Very high health risk
Avoid strenuous activities outdoors. Consider indoor recess and lunch supervision for all students.