Butte County wildfire smoke engulfs De Anza, campus re-opens in unhealthy conditions

Christian Trujano, Editor-in-Chief

Chancellor seeks imput after Foothill-De Anza closes 3 school days due to smoke

Chancellor Judy Miner is inviting students, faculty and staff to give feedback on how the district can better handle future college closures.

“Health and safety issues can be particularly challenging to navigate,” Miner wrote in an email sent to the district. “We hope to identify lessons learned to prepare us for emergency situations we may face in the future.”

The email was sent following the closure of the Foothill-De Anza district, along with a list of other schools, from Thursday, Nov.15 until Monday Nov.19. The Foothill-De Anza district opened two days before Thanksgiving.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency “AirNow” website, the air quality index for Nov 19. is measured between 140 to 150.

This AQI was considered unhealthy for sensitive groups, but declined from what it was the previous days, going as high as 170 not only in Cupertino, but surrounding communities as well.

“We understand that some individuals may have health conditions that require a return to work or classes at a later date,” said Miner,“Anyone struggling with the health impacts of the wildfires has our sympathy and support.”

With the lack of instruction and extra time off a couple weeks before finals, students took to social media platforms over the weekend, creating petitions that had almost 4,000 signatures, to shut down De Anza for the entire week of Thanksgiving.

In a Facebook post from La Voz, students commented that they were keeping in touch with professors, finishing up homework and studying for the upcoming finals.