In the past three years, an average of over 7 million acres have burned in California. The Dixie Fire has already destroyed more than 900,000 acres of land, forcing many people to evacuate and leave their jobs. In response to the fires and the poor air quality that they produce each year, NUSD has included two school days onto the calendar so they can account for likely school cancellation.
NUSD Assistant Superintendent, Jennifer Larson, in addition to the Calendar committee, have been responsible for handling decisions regarding missed school days during the fire season. All California schools are being held to instructional time requirements, meaning that a waiver must be submitted to the California Department of Education to grant approval for the missed instructional minutes on fire days. Larson, along with the team, concluded that adding two school days onto the calendar was the best way to prepare for the wildfires because the waiver signing process can take a long time.
“With the increased incidence of poor air quality days due to fires, NUSD decided that having two days built into the annual calendar would be more proactive,” Larson said.
If the fires do calm down this year, and NUSD decides not to use the days added, those days will remain days off.
“If we don’t need to take any days off for natural disasters, the days on the calendar identified as make-up days would remain days off,” Larson said. “For example, this year’s scheduled make-up days are Jan. 3 and May 27. If we don’t have to take any days off for smoke (or any other natural disasters), those two days would become non-school days.”