- Los Angeles Unified School District
Los Angeles Unified Unveils Nation’s Largest School-based Air Quality Monitoring Network (04-22-22)
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 22, 2022
Los Angeles Unified Unveils Nation’s Largest School-based Air Quality Monitoring Network
“Know Your Air Network” Introduced As Part of Superintendent Carvalho’s 100-Day Plan
Know Your Air Network sensor
Los Angeles, CA (April 22, 2022) – To ensure the safest learning environment for students, Los Angeles Unified unveiled the nation’s largest school-based air monitoring network at Hesby Oaks Leadership Charter earlier today as part of Superintendent Alberto M. Carvalho’s 100-Day Plan.
The Know Your Air Network includes the installation of sensors at 200 school locations across Los Angeles Unified’s 710 square-mile footprint, providing students, parents, teachers and the community with important real-time data about their local air quality.
“To ensure that our students reach their full potential, we must also ensure the safety of our schools,” Los Angeles Unified Superintendent Alberto M. Carvalho said. “The launch of the Know Your Air Network provides us with an important tool to monitor air quality throughout the District, allowing us to proactively ensure student safety.”
Calibrated for the highest accuracy, these air sensors take a measurement of fine particulate matter in the air every six minutes. Measurable elements detectable by the network include smog, exhaust, industrial emissions, smoke and dust. Sensors are deployed across Los Angeles Unified, allowing each school in the District to have a sensor installed within a 1.6-mile radius.
“I’m proud to see this implementation of a resolution I sponsored in 2019 to reduce air pollution and find a way to monitor air quality in all our school communities,” said Board Vice President Nick Melvoin, who represents Hesby Oaks Leadership Charter. “While the world has changed in unthinkable ways since I first proposed this initiative, our commitment to providing the safest possible learning environment for our kids has remained steadfast. We will continue to prioritize the safe, in-person learning of our students, with the help of tools like the ‘Know Your Air’ network.”
“Many of our Los Angeles Unified communities are environmentally impacted after suffering decades of underinvestment,” Board President Kelly Gonez said. “We must work to address the environmental injustices our students face, whether it’s air quality, lack of green space, or extreme heat. The Know Your Air Network is part of a larger strategy Los Angeles Unified is taking to make our schools greener and more resilient for our students and families.”
“The launch of the Know Your Air Network is a useful tool for our families and stakeholders as the District continues to move forward in our efforts to be good environmental stewards,” Board Member Dr. George J. McKenna III said.
“This initiative is a perfect example of how we can integrate climate literacy into our curriculum, as well as support the mental and emotional health of our students by providing opportunities for them to not only learn about the impacts of our climate crisis but to think through solutions for themselves and act collectively to implement strategies for change,” Board Member Scott M. Schmerelson said.
“I appreciate the collaboration between our Office of Environmental Health and Safety in working with the Coalition for Clean Air and Clarity Movement Company to create a user-friendly tool that families can use to look at air quality near their schools and homes,” Board Member Tanya Ortiz Franklin said. “Educators have an opportunity to use the sensors to teach about the importance of environmental justice and students can feel empowered to make decisions about their actions based on scientific data.”
Data from the Know Your Air Network will be used during critical events, such as wildfires, allowing the District to proactively respond to ensure the safety of students. Members of the public may also view real-time data from the network on Los Angeles Unified’s website at achieve.lausd.net/knowyourairnetwork or through the AirVisual mobile app.
“The Know Your Air Network will provide us with vital air quality information that can be used to inform real-time decisions to protect the health and well-being of our school communities,” Los Angeles Unified Director of the Office of Environmental Health and Safety Carlos A. Torres said. “This air quality sensor network is unparalleled in its size and scope, demonstrating Los Angeles Unified’s commitment to providing the safest learning environment for our students.”
Relying on a unique public-private partnership, Los Angeles Unified partnered with Clarity Movement Co. to provide the sensors, software and networking infrastructure as the foundation for the Know Your Air Network.
“Our core founding grew out of California public schools,” Clarity Movement Co. CEO David Lu said. “We’re humbled and honored to bring years of innovation and development on air quality monitoring back to benefit California schools.”
Additional partners include the Coalition for Clean Air, which provided experts and funding partners – including Wells Fargo and the Zolla Family Foundation – to design and operate the project’s pilot program.
“Parents and the public need accurate, local air quality data available in real time,” Coalition for Clean Air President and CEO Dr. Joseph K. Lyou said. “The creation of this network required a true coalition of public and private parties coming together.”
Los Angeles Unified’s partnership with the Coalition for Clean Air is complemented by a recent Board action to explore opportunities to mitigate the harmful effects of air pollution on school communities.