ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Several school districts throughout the region are limiting outdoor activities due to air quality issues associated with smoke from the Canadian wildfires.

Several districts, such as the Rochester City School District and the Pittsford School District, issued a notice Tuesday afternoon, announcing that outside activities, including physical education and recess, will either be canceled, moved indoors, or reduced.

Some districts, such as the Brighton Central School District, will continue to allow students to eat outside as long as they reduce strenuous activity and they don’t have respiratory conditions such as asthma.

Schools such as Fairport and Hilton are allowing students to be outside for recess, however, the time spent outdoors will be reduced and students will be monitored.

Decisions will be made on a district-by-district basis and parents and caregivers can expect to hear directives as to plans for the remainder of the week.
Even though air quality conditions are projected to improve, some are already planning ahead for Thursday.

“I can’t speak for all of the districts but I can speak for Hilton but tomorrow Hilton will be once again, unfortunately not again having any outdoor activities for students,” says Dr. Casey Kosiorek, Superintendent of the Hilton Central School District.

Air Quality alerts are in effect throughout the region due to the high amount of particulates in the air. These conditions can be harmful for people who suffer from asthma and other respiratory conditions.

The NY DEC lists our area in the “orange” category.

Air quality guidance for schools

While it’s not required, masks (just like the ones from the pandemic days), can also be an option for families to mitigate exposure. A result of the COVID-19 pandemic, too: new MERV filtration requirements inside school buildings.

“I know through our work with the State Education Dept. and NYS Health Dept., everything that we needed to go through through the pandemic, that those air filtration systems have been upgraded,” Dr. Kosiorek says.

Stay with News 8 and for more on this developing story.