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HISD Officials Monitor Air Quality to Keep Students Safe

By ANNA-MEGAN RALEY, CBS Houston
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(credit: Erich Schlegel/Getty Images)

(credit: Erich Schlegel/Getty Images)

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The disastrous wildfires that have torched parts of Texas just north of Houston sent clouds of smoke into the air. The thick smoke has dispersed but is still affecting the air quality of the surrounding areas. To kep students safe, Houston Independent School District officials are monitoring the air quality in the Southeast Texas region.

Advisories from the Harris County Health Department and the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality provide the district best available data on conditions, according to an HISD release.

The smoke has not affected all areas of the district evenly.  So, principals are being asked to monitor conditions at their school to determine whether it is appropriate to allow outdoor activities or to keep students indoors. 

Crews have been dispatched throughout the most heavily affected areas of the district to perform air quality tests.  At Halpin Early Childhood Center (10901 Sandpiper) air-conditioning units were temporarily shut down because of the density of smoke in the area.  District personnel have the capacity to regulate A/C systems to ensure the safety and comfort of students and staff.  

Smoke affected two other schools this morning.  Those schools were Mistral Early Childhood Center (6202 Jessamine) and Sutton Elementary School (7402 Albacore).  However, those schools were affected by the smoke from a nearby house fire.  The same protocols were performed at those two schools as at Halpin ECC.

The district’s athletic department is monitoring air quality to determine if there will be any impact on outdoor events planned for this evening.  Two schools have been affected.

The Lamar High School sub-varsity games that were scheduled to take place in Brenham will be rescheduled.  The time and place will be announced at a later date. 

The Jones High School versus Montgomery High School game scheduled for this evening has been cancelled.

The District will provide additional updates as warranted.

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