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Boulder Valley Schools superintendent believes semester needs to start on time to support fire victims

Dr. Rob Anderson wants to give Boulder Valley students stability after losing their homes to a wildfire.

LOUISVILLE, Colo. — After going through the eight schools within the fire zone, Boulder Valley School District (BVSD) Superintendent Dr. Rob Anderson said the damage to buildings is minimal, but the damage to the community is immeasurable.

"It's just truly a heartbreaking tragedy," Anderson said.

He wants the spring semester to start on time, in-person on Wednesday –because – of the Marshall Fire.

"We've got to get our arms around our kids. This isn't about academics. We're not opening up schools on Wednesday to jump into lessons. We're opening up our schools because our community needs us," Anderson said.

At Monarch High School in Louisville, the district is using high-powered portable air purifiers as a precaution to make sure the buildings don't smell like smoke. Outside cleaning crews are also coming in to make sure schools are clear of ash and debris.

"We need to start and we need to start the healing process," Anderson said. "We feel like by having school on Wednesday is the right first step."

About 600 students and 60 staff members have either lost their homes or had their homes damaged by the Marshall Fire.

"We'll be there for our families and kids who can make it," Anderson said. "We know not everybody can make it to school, but there's some of our families and some of our kids who truly need to be there."

With COVID and the omicron variant still out there, Anderson knows staffing classrooms may be an issue. So, central office workers will be out in schools to help.

"I'm not saying we're gonna show up on Wednesday and it's gonna be a normal day of school. It will anything other than that but they need stability," Anderson said. "They need to connect with their friends. They need to connect with their teachers."

He wants to keep the doors open because in a time of chaos, he believes families need some order.

"That's what school districts do," Anderson said. "In a crisis like this, we should be there for our kids."

If you want to find out how you can help, the BVSD has a resource page.

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