What is a Public Safety Power Shutoff?

For public safety, it may be necessary for PG&E to turn off electricity when gusty winds and dry conditions, combined with a heightened fire risk, are forecasted. This is called a “Public Safety Power Shutoff” or “PSPS.”

While customers in high fire-threat areas are more likely to be affected, any of PG&E’s more than 5 million electric customers could have their power shut off. This is because the energy system relies on power lines working together to provide electricity across cities, counties and regions.

The Novato Unified School District has been working with the City of Novato, Novato Fire District, Novato Police Department and other local agencies since early 2019 in preparation for these possible power shutoffs.  As part of this process, the Marin County Office of Education, various county agencies, and the Marin County Superintendents have developed uniform guidelines for schools to follow in the event of a power shutoff.

Based on the information and guidance we have at this time; we anticipate taking the following steps in the event of a power shut down:

  • If the power is shut down during the normal school day, school operations will continue through the remainder of the school day. Daycare will Not be Available if this is the case.
  • If the power is shut down outside of the normal school day, school will be closed until power is restored. Based on estimates from PG&E, Public Safety Power Shutoffs may result in extended power outages of 3-5 days.

When power is restored, schools will be back in session. If power is restored during the normal school day, school will be back in session the following day.

Communication during the power outage – Schools will make every effort to provide updated information regarding status of the outage, using whatever information channels they have available (cell phone, landline, email, texting, social media, local news media) with the understanding that communication systems will be limited.

In order to stay as up to date as possible on the most current information, our public safety officials are recommending that you register your contact information at the following sites:

Here are some additional links with important resources to assist you in being prepared at home.

Air Quality Procedures

After extensive consultation with Dr. Matt Willis, Marin County Public Health Officer, and with input and guidance from other local schools in Novato, we are sending the Air Quality Guidelines that will assist in our response as air quality issues arise in the community.

This information is meant to serve as a general guideline.  These steps and guidelines have been developed based on best practices from our own local experiences and from recommendations from the California Department of Education, air quality districts and public health professionals statewide.

 If you have questions or would like additional information please contact Heather Freeman at hfreeman@marinchristian.org, or at 415-892-5713.