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Fires in Colorado in the Boulder Valley

 

January 1, 2022

On this New Year's Day, the news about the fires in Colorado in the Boulder Valley area is on our minds.  Many in the CoSN Community know Andrew Moore, their CIO, who has shared the following information on the situation. 

Want to help?  The best thing to do to help directly is to join him in donating to Impact on Education ("Critical Needs Fund") who will be helping students who lost their homes. 

 

On Dec 31, 2021, at 7:29 PM, Andrew Moore wrote:

Thanks for reaching out, Keith.  It is a mess.  Boulder Valley School District serves the communities of Louisville and Superior.  I know of multiple teammates who lost their homes, one of which is staying at our home.  Fortunately, our house was a 1/2 mile outside of the evacuation area.  However, with 500-1000 homes lost, we know many families will be without a place to stay.  The email below just came out from our Superintendent explaining what is happening.   

I'm dealing with district-owned fiber in Lousiville that may be melted in the hand-holes.  Power is slowly being restored, which is needed to troubleshoot the situation.   

We are just in shock between the shooting earlier this year and this devastation.   Our CoSN trip to India really left an impression on me.  In this case, working Plan B with focus and purpose.

Andrew
_______________

Andrew Moore, Chief Information Officer

---------- Forwarded message ---------
From: Rob Anderson  
Date: Fri, Dec 31, 2021 at 5:03 PM
Subject: Marshall Fire Update

Dear BVSD Families and Staff,

As the sun came up this morning we began to get a grim look at the massive devastation caused by the Marshall Fire. My heart breaks for friends, neighbors, co-workers and our students who lost their homes.

At the same time, we have been incredibly grateful to hear the news from Boulder County Sheriff Joe Pelle this morning that to date there have been no deaths associated with this tragedy. We are also thankful for the snow that has begun to fall across Boulder Valley, with the hopes that it will allow firefighters to extinguish the last of the flames and hot spots.

This morning, BVSD Maintenance teams were given access to the evacuation zone and began assessing our buildings. While there has been so much destruction, with more than 500 homes lost, it appears that our buildings were spared by the fire. Some were impacted by the heavy smoke and several remain without electricity, gas, water or access to the general public.

Knowing the importance that our schools play in our communities on a daily basis, especially following a disaster like this, our goal is to resume classes at all of our buildings as soon as possible. That being said, there are many factors out of our control, including the restoration of utilities and heat, the reopening of streets in the area and the effect on our staffing – with so many teachers and staff being directly impacted by this fire.

Our partners who are responsible for emergency management have prioritized the reopening of schools. We hope in the next day or two to have a better understanding of the level of these impacts both at the schools in the area of the fire, but throughout the district.

We have created a wildfire website where we will continue to post updates, resources and ways you can help. We will also provide updates via email, as warranted.
 

Support for those impacted by the fire 
Our hearts go out to those who live in Superior and Louisville and recognize that those in the path of the fire need as much support as possible. We are working to ascertain which of our families have been directly impacted. 

Parents/guardians: Reach out to their principal or fill in this form, so that we can ensure that support and resources are available to those who need it. Please know that students who are displaced by an event like this are eligible for additional support under the federal McKinney-Vento Act.

Employees: Contact your supervisor or fill in this form.

Please know – there is no hurry. We understand that a lot is going on in your lives right now. We are here to help when you are ready.
 

Social-emotional support for BVSD students and employees
We also understand that many people in our community, even those far from the fire, are reeling from yesterday's events. As we shared previously, we have set up social emotional support for our students and our employees.

Additionally, this resource from the American School Counselor Association may be helpful to families and educators alike during these difficult times:

Natural Disasters: Helping Kids During Crisis
 

Help needed
One of the biggest challenges we are anticipating due to both the fire and the impact of COVID-19 is around staffing. We are looking for the community's help during this time to fill these positions:

  • Classroom monitors
  • Substitutes teachers
  • Bus drivers
  • Custodians
  • Food Services

Apply today at jobs.bvsd.org.

Again, our thoughts are with families who lost everything or remain displaced on this New Year's Eve. It is not the way we wanted to start a new year – but together we will once again come together for all of our students.

Rob Anderson, Superintendent, Boulder Valley School District



------------------------------
Keith Krueger
Chief Executive Officer
Consortium for School Networking
Washington DC
keith@cosn.org