The effects of the devastating and deadly Northern
California wildfires have reached area school campuses. Today, there are no
classes at St. Anthony of Padua School in Manteca due to the unhealthy smoke
coming from the Northern California wildfire.
"Due to the hazardous air quality and in conjunction with other schools in the Central Valley, St. Anthony's students are being asked to stay home" today, announced Principal Susie Dickert on the school's Facebook page Thursday afternoon.
Students are not completely off the hook when it comes to their lessons, however. They are expected to work on independent study materials that they brought home from school Thursday, and parents are being asked to assist their children in this task.
Tests and projects that were due today will be extended to the Monday following the Thanksgiving break.
Dickert apologized to parents having difficulty finding childcare on such late notice, and announced that the school will have daycare available during school hours in the library for those who may need it. Normal rate for these extended before- and after-school services will apply.
The 8-11:30 a.m. preschool is in session today, and daycare is open for the full day PreK class.
"We apologize for the inconvenience but your child's health and safety are our number one concern," the principal stated.
Schools in Manteca Unified are expected to be open today; there was no announcement to the contrary made on the district website mid-afternoon on Thursday. In this regard, a staff said the district continues to work with the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution District and the county Health Department advisories.
"As of this hour, the kids will go to school" on Friday, a district staff said.
The one victim in the district to the wildfire-related unhealthy air conditions is the MELS Garage Star Party which was cancelled due to the smoky air conditions. The event, originally scheduled today, is not taking place. MELS stand for Manufacturing and Engineering to Learning through STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math).
Schools in Ripon Unified School District are closed today; however, this is not related to the poor air quality. There are no classes because of the regularly scheduled parent-teachers conferences, a district staff explained.
In addition to several K-12 schools that are closed today due to wildfire-related poor air quality, a number of college campuses are not open to regular sessions as well. These include the University of the Pacific in Stockton, Sacramento State's main and Sacramento campuses, University of California at Davis main and Sacramento locations, and California State University, Stanislaus.
Although there are no regular school sessions at St. Anthony, the Barbecue Drive-thru fund-raiser on campus will go as scheduled this evening. Donation for the pick-up dinner consisting of pulled-pork, Southern-style cole slaw, barbecue beans and roll is $15 per order. Proceeds will benefit the school's Science Camp. The drive-thru pick-up will be open from 5 to 7 p.m. at the school, 323 N. Fremont Street.