PLACER COUNTY (CBS13) – As firefighters head back to the front lines of the River Fire, 4,100 students in the Placer Union School District are set to head back to class in just a few days.
“All roads should be open and that means transportation services, food services, shouldn’t be impacted if schools are open,” said Dr. Jeff Tooker, deputy superintendent of educational services at the district.READ MORE: Scott Peterson Set To Be Re-Sentenced For Murder Of Pregnant Wife
Tooker said he is looking at logistics when it comes to the first day of school at Colfax High School next Tuesday.
“We do have ways to communicate with families via email and phone messages and things like that,” he said. “But what’s challenging is we don’t know where everyone is right now.”
More than 7,000 people were evacuated in Placer and Nevada counties due to the River Fire, which quickly grew in size after sparking on Wednesday. Nearly 90 structures were destroyed.
Fire crews checked to make sure the high school wasn’t damaged, and now school leaders are doing everything they can to find families and welcome them back.
“We really want our families, our kids back on campus having that normal high school experience—the school spirit, the social aspects, the arts, and certainly the academics,” Took said.READ MORE: Person, Cat Rescued From Citrus Heights Apartment Fire
According to Tooker, all Placer Union schools will be open Tuesday for in-person instruction only.
Melany Hall teaches at Confluence High School.
“We’re the local continuation high school so we have kids from Colfax, Del Oro, Forest Hill and Placer,” she said. “We’re just anxiously praying and hoping that all of our students—that returning students are not impacted.”
Several thousand homes are still threatened. Tooker says he may get heat for reopening as firefighters work to contain the River fire, but overcoming the impact of the pandemic fuels him. He said it’s been heartbreaking.
“What they’ve had to endure, going to school, maintaining their relationships, the mental and social and emotional health of our students, it’s a big concern right now,” he said.MORE NEWS: Deputies Searching For Home Invasion Robber Who Targeted Mountain House Residence
School starts at 8 a.m. Tuesday. Staff will be there Monday.