I am writing with an update on the evolving Woolsey fire incident and its impacts on Viewpoint and our community.
Viewpoint School will remain closed Wednesday and Thursday, November 14 and 15. While our campus is safe, Calabasas and other local neighborhoods continue to be under mandatory evacuation, and the red flag wind conditions are expected to continue through late Wednesday. Barring the unforeseen, this closing will allow us to use Thursday to ensure that we are prepared for students to return to school, including scheduled air quality monitoring and ensuring food service and transportation are ready for school to resume.
If you need short- or long-term assistance due to evacuation or property damage or loss, please email Aria Sencer at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com. Aria Sencer and Oznaya Lopez can connect you with resources that have been offered by our Viewpoint community, including hotel rooms available this week, guest houses, and space in homes. (In addition, airbnb is offering housing assistance.) I continue to be impressed and proud at the generosity and community spirit of our school families. Given continued evacuation and firefighting efforts, opportunities to serve and assist in local communities will take place in days to come. Our students, parents, and school are resourceful, and we are establishing a platform to match help and resources with needs.
When we come back to school, we will be prepared for you. We are making decisions based on the wide range of needs and experiences of our families these past few days. We will continue to be guided by what is most important for students, and we respect families’ role in making the best decision for your family about when to come back. If you are evacuated or unable to return to your home, we will support your decision not to attend school this week and next. We plan a late start for our first day back, and we will begin the day in divisional gatherings for Primary/Lower and Middle/Upper School students to come together in developmentally appropriate ways to experience the strength of our community. We will be prepared with counselors to help students address their experiences and feelings, and we will provide opportunities for those who live farther from danger to support and connect with friends. Our families will return from evacuation to a wide range of circumstances, and together the school will work with you to support your children in every way. We will be in free dress and there will be no tests through the Thanksgiving Holiday break. This week’s Primary and Lower School parent conferences will be rescheduled following Thanksgiving. Please continue to watch email for more details about our return to school.
Thank you for your patience and support as we navigate this unprecedented event with attention to our students and our values, including our commitments to safety, wellness, and excellence. Thank you to our heroic firefighters and first responders, whose tireless service and effort have mitigated the extent of the disaster, and thank you also to our own campus safety, operations, and administration teams, whose loyalty and commitment are unparalleled. For all of us who care about children and young people, these days provide countless life lessons in grace, caring, service, and what matters most.