Weed Elementary and Weed High School plan to re-open Tuesday

Liz Pyles
Weed Union Elementary School District trustees and Superintendent Kathi Emerson held their regular meeting Wednesday evening at Bel Air Park next to the large white tent that housed donations for fire victims.

Wednesday night’s Weed Union Elementary School District monthly meeting wasn’t held at its regular location in room 20 at the WES. Instead, board members Melissa Ericsson, Michael Carpine, John Gaustad, Deborah Goltz and Jeff Repass and Superintendent Kathi Emerson gathered at Bel Air Park in front of a large tent housing donated items for families displaced by the fire that burned sections of Weed on Monday.

Principal Alisa Cummings was volunteering at the new distribution center set up in the building behind the Weed Post Office and did not attend the meeting.

Emerson explained the plan is to get students back in school on Tuesday, Sept. 23. She said she toured the school with the insurance adjuster Wednesday morning and told trustees there was more damage than she expected. She explained that WES has power, except to the primary wing, and fire alarms are not working. The roads are closed and the phones are not working. The water is on.

Weed High School also plans to re-open Tuesday, teacher Josh Oates said during a phone conversation this morning.

“We are working on all those services,” said Emerson. “Our intention right now is to bring our staff back on Monday and work with them to get the school and themselves ready to receive students on Tuesday. So if all those pieces are in place, the roads are open and it’s safe, then our intention is to have kids on Tuesday…”

Emerson said the insurance company intends to replace anything that is damaged, including the music room and instruments, playground equipment, and chain link fence. “I guess that’s the silver lining,” said Emerson after explaining that WES will have new music instruments.

The damaged primary wing will be closed for a couple weeks while restoration is being made to the front part. The back part of the wing sustained more fire damage and will not be ready for students until December.

Grades 1-3 will have classes in Siskiyou Afterschool For Everyone (SAFE) classrooms that are unoccupied during school hours. The kindergarten wing is intact and will have classes.

All rooms scheduled to be used will be cleaned before Tuesday.

In an emergency meeting held following the regular meeting, board members unanimously approved to waive the bid process for restoration in order to get started quickly. The insurance adjuster is working with the district to get the repairs done.

• In other business, the board approved all items on the Consent Agenda, and the Sufficiency of Instructional Materials resolution. The only discussion item, the Industrial Accident/Illness Leave and BP 331, AR3311 Bids, had changes made to bring it into compliance with the education codes.