All Contra Costa County schools, including the West Contra Costa Unified and Contra Costa College, will be closed on Friday due to the persistent poor air quality caused by smoke from the devastating Camp Fire in Northern California.
“The smoke from the Camp Fire in Northern California has severely impacted air quality for more than a week and has made managing classrooms and supporting students challenging,” WCCUSD Superintendent Matthew Duffy’s said in a statement. “The smoke has affected some areas of our large, geographically diverse District more than others and the experts have predicted improving air quality each day this week, but the reality has been much different.”
All WCCUSD schools and departments will be closed Friday, providing families an early start to the Thanksgiving holiday break, Duffy said. Schools will be closed all next week for the Thanksgiving holiday, although school operations may resume Monday if air quality allows.
The district had faced criticism from its teachers union for keeping schools open this week, an issue that sparked significant online debate among district workers and parents.
All other 17 public school districts in Contra Costa County (as well as Contra Costa County Office of Education programs) will be closed on Friday, along with the three Contra costa Community College District campuses.