COLFAX (CBS13) — Tuesday will be the first day of class for 4,100 students in the Placer Union School District.
But teacher training couldn’t come at a more tumultuous time as the entire Colfax community recovers from the River Fire.READ MORE: Proposed Campground Expansion At Auburn State Recreation Area Draws Concern Over Wildfire Risk
“Now remember what color your partner’s eyes are,” said the instructor in the school library.
Staff at Colfax High School are undergoing training along with certain student leaders as they prepare for the first day of class.
“This is the second time we have gotten together since the fire,” said Principal Paul Lundberg. “Obviously we are transitioning a little differently than we normally would.”
Lundberg says school will start for the nearly 700 students there even though 100 are still displaced by the River Fire – and some roads are closed.
“Some of our kids are going to have a challenge getting here, but we just want to be here for our kids who can be here and continue to support those that can’t,” he said.READ MORE: Fire Burning In Highway 160 Overpass Reveals Person Living Inside
Many in fire-ravaged areas are waiting to get back in – one of the reasons why Colfax Elementary School will wait until Aug. 18 to reopen.
“We are checking in on those families and figuring specifically what are their needs and getting them those resources,” said Principal John Baggett.
Baggett has applied for Colfax Elementary to become a disaster relief center and will provide childcare in the gym starting Wednesday.
“Those families that need that, maybe they need to go to work, they need to deal with whatever they need to deal with with the fire insurance,” Baggett said.
As crews cut grass and office staff answer last-minute questions, school leaders know the little details come at a defining moment.MORE NEWS: Rio Linda Crash Leaves 1 Dead, 2 Injured
“What we want to make sure all of our students understand, and our teachers … all of our staff, that we belong to something much larger than just ourselves and that we will support one another and serve on another,” said Lundberg.