Administration and staff from several PSD elementary and middle schools have been working tirelessly since the High Park Fire broke out this weekend to support students and staff who live in the impacted areas.
Roxann Hall, principal of Cache LaPoudre Elementary, Skip Cadoo, principal of Cache LaPoudre Middle School and Patrick Kind, principal of mountain schools Stove Prairie, Livermore and Red Feather Elementary schools, have dedicated hours of time in the last four days to supporting their communities.
These dedicated administrators, along with their committed faculty and support staff, have spent countless hours planning a picnic for their families this week, soliciting donations from local businesses for the picnic, filling more than 150 bags of food for families in need, calling individual families and staff to check on the status of their homes, interacting with students and families at the evacuation center at The Ranch, manning the evacuation center when it was located at CLP Middle School and visiting firefighters at the Armory.
"We continue to check in with our students and staff to see how they are doing," said CLP Elementary Principal Roxann Hall. "We know we need to connect with them."
Ms. Hall noted that several teachers have also taken stuffed animals and games to the evacuation center for students to play with and helped to connect the dots for families who need services and resources as they deal with not knowing if they have a home to return to.
She said the picnic on Friday, which is just for the students and staff of the three impacted schools and is not open to the public, will have music, games, a bouncy house for kids, arts and crafts and other activities designed to help students and their families have a sense of "normalcy" admidst the destruction of the fire.
The three principals expressed heartfelt thanks to the Fort Collins and LaPorte communities for their support during this crisis as well as the heroic efforts of the firefighters who have lost their own homes as they battled flames to save historic Stove Prairie Elementary School.
Dr. Jerry Wilson, superintendent of PSD, said that in times of crisis, schools can play an important role in helping the community to heal.
"The High Park fire is a tragedy of the greatest magnitude. My heart hurts for the families who have lost homes and been displaced," he said. "PSD is committed to supporting our students and staff through this crisis and throughout the summer as the effects of the fire become more invasive and widespread. Together we can help our community through this difficult time."