I am writing on Sunday, November 11, with an update regarding the ongoing fire emergency.
Viewpoint School will be closed Tuesday, November 13, given the ongoing fires and wind conditions, widespread evacuations and dislocation, and need to be prepared for students to return to campus. The campus is safe but still in an evacuation zone. Before we return to school, we will ensure that air quality is healthful for students and we will make necessary adjustments to school programs in the interest of student safety.
When we do return to school, we will return in free dress, and there will no tests this week. We are preparing to support students and families with a range of physical and emotional needs, given the loss, trauma, and stress that many have experienced. At this point, I am sorry to report that at least nine Viewpoint families representing 16 students have lost their homes. Additional alumni and alumni families have lost homes and many others have suffered property loss and damage or will return to neighborhoods that have been severely impacted. During crises, children experience a wide range of feelings and express a wide range of concerns. Please comfort and reassure students as you are able that their lives will return to normal and that our community will be a source of strength in weeks to come. Click here for a document that may be helpful to your family as you talk to your children about the fires.
Many students and families have expressed a desire to help those affected by losses in our school and local communities. If you are unaffected by the fires and are able, I encourage you to use Tuesday as a Viewpoint Day of Service to your local community. I was proud of our many students who have made this suggestion. We will be working today to identify needs and opportunities to help, and we will share any information we gather.
If your family has suffered losses, will experience extended evacuation, or have short- or long-term needs, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We have already been able to put families in touch with one another for assistance. Thank you to families that have offered space or resources, as your generosity is profound and touching.
One note of good news: our Varsity Cross Country team traveled to CIF prelims on Saturday in Riverside, far from danger, and both Boys and Girls advanced to the finals, with Boys taking Third Place. The runners who were able to participate were happy to represent Viewpoint in a strong fashion. Other school activities on campus through Tuesday have been canceled, and our Upper School production of The Crucible will be postponed. We will communicate again with further updates by 2 pm tomorrow.
On this Veterans Day, our spirits and our will are united in support of our community. Stay strong and stay safe.