AQI Policy

Air Quality Index Policy and Guidelines

In light of the occasional poor air quality in Minburi, RIS has devised and implemented a school-wide AQI policy based on information from the EPA and the World Health Organization. This also aligns our practices with other local international schools. 

Air pollution is a growing concern worldwide, and research indicates that exposure to air pollution can impact our health. Studies on long-term health effects typically focus on individuals who are exposed to unhealthy air for an extended period of time, often over many years. However, evidence also indicates that short-term exposure to unhealthy air can create health concerns. Children are at an increased risk because their lungs are still growing, they tend to be more physically active, and they are more likely to have respiratory illnesses that can be aggravated when pollution levels are high. 

RIS routinely monitors particulate pollution—a mixture of solids and liquid droplets floating in the air—specifically Particulate Matter 2.5 (PM2.5), which are fine particles that can enter the lungs and the bloodstream. 

The following Air Quality Index (AQI) was designed by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to help the public better understand the impact of air pollution. RIS refers to this index to determine the quality of the air and to take action when air pollution reaches unhealthy levels. 

Air Quality Index (AQI) Levels

AQI 0–100: Air quality in this range is considered to be good to moderate; no action is necessary. 

AQI 101–150: Air quality in this range is considered unhealthy for sensitive groups. The general public is not likely to be affected. Activities will continue as planned. 

AQI 151–200: Air quality in this range is considered unhealthy for the general public. Prolonged exposure and strenuous activity should be avoided. At this level, outdoor activities will be modified to low intensity and/or shorter time periods. 

AQI 200–299: Air quality in this range is considered to be very unhealthy. At this level, all outdoor activities will be moved indoors, postponed, or canceled. 

AQI 300 and above: If the AQI exceeds 300, all students and school personnel (except those necessary to maintain campus security) will remain indoors. This does not restrict students and staff from moving between buildings. All local, outdoor, and off-campus activities will be canceled.

How RIS Obtains AQI Levels

The AQI levels in our area are monitored consistently throughout each day on the aqicn.org website. The long-term plan is for RIS to purchase and install an air-quality monitoring system on campus.

Communicating AQI Protocol

When the AQI reaches the following levels, an all-school email indicating the AQI will be sent to faculty and staff in order to modify activities as required: 

● If the AQI is between 151 and 200, a reminder will be sent that PE/sports activities need to be modified. The Director of Athletics will advise coaches and PE teachers to avoid prolonged or heavy exercises outdoors. 

● If the AQI is above 200, all ES, MS, and HS outdoor activities will be postponed, cancelled, or moved indoors. 

● If the AQI is above 300, all students and faculty will remain indoors unless moving between buildings.