Boulder Valley School District
Standing Together BVSD

We are standing with those impacted by the Marshall Fire -- including Boulder Valley School District’s own students, families and employees.

BVSD’s staff rushed towards the fire to help with the evacuation, worked around the clock to open our buildings and now we’re supporting those impacted with social-emotional support. BVSD is All Together for All Students.

Helping with the evacuation

BVSD bus drivers answered the call to help their neighbors. While it was Winter Break, within moments, several drivers were behind the wheel, driving towards the fire zone to help evacuate hospital facilities in the community, carrying patients to safety.

Smoke from Marshall Fire from Erie

Preparing our buildings for students

Following the wildfire, there were several obstacles that we faced before we could reopen our buildings. Power and natural gas outages, meant that there was no heat when a powerful winter storm brought a hard freeze the day after the fire.

Our teams had to carefully reheat the building and turn the water back on to avoid water line breaks.

Additionally, for a few days after our buildings opened the community remained under a boil water advisory. During that time, we ensured students had access to clean water through bottled water and handwashing stations.

Employee turns on water at school

Wrapping our arms around students

The educators at our impacted schools, supported by academic staff from the BVSD Education Center, were there to welcome students back to school on Wednesday, January 5.

Administrators, teachers and support staff were there to support the kids and provide them a safe and stable environment, with in-person support.

Monarch High school -- with Coyote Proud banner.

Adjusting routes

On-going evacuation orders meant that our transportation team had to reroute existing bus routes and to temporarily move bus routes. This ensured that our students had crucial services, even in the middle of the largest disaster in Colorado history. 

Thankfully these were lifted quickly, allowing service to return to normal. 

Little boy walks to bus in the snow.

The community came together

There has been an outpouring from our community to support BVSD students and staff impacted by the fire. 

Impact on Education collected and distributed 600 backpacks filled with school supplies to 22 schools. Our education foundation also activated its Critical Needs Fund, raising $400,000 to support BVSD students, staff and families impacted by the Marshall Fire, so far Priorities include replacing academic, music and athletic materials, as well as collecting gift cards and letters. They are planning to deliver compassion kits to all students and staff later in January

Additional priorities for IOE include providing funding for supplemental mental health supports in schools.

Impact on Education bin outside of Ed Center

If you are in a position to help, donate at www.impactoneducation.org/donate

Cleaning our schools

A large team, made up of BVSD employees and more than 150 contracted staffers cleaned buildings and placed industrial air scrubbers to make sure our schools were ready for students. Thankfully, before the smoke reached out schools, our team was able to to shut the air intake at our buildings,  sealing our buildings off from the toxic ash and other contaminants carried in the plume.

BVSD Maintenance employees stand outside of Coal Creek.

Helping displaced students

On the very first evening, BVSD began gathering names of impacted students and soon after, our schools were in touch to gather information about their situation and needs.

More than 750 students identified for McKinney-Vento support, which includes free lunch, waived fees, transportation assistance and connection to other community resources.

The goal is to keep students in their school communities, whenever, possible, so they can continue learning with the support of their friends and the caring educators they know and trust.

Students and parents approach Superior Elementary on the first day of the second semester and after the Marshall Fire.

Providing social-emotional support

Many BVSD students and staff were traumatized by the fast-moving fire, the drastic evacuation and the unimaginable devastation that has been left behind, even if they were far from the fire and not impacted by the evacuation. The BVSD Trauma Response Team was activated and this team of school counselors, psychologists and mental health advocates to support students and staff through counseling. 

Sign outside Fireside Elementary that says Stay Strong Fireside

Re-establishing connectivity

One of BVSD's fiber lines, which carries the Internet to our schools was burned in the Marshall Fire. Our vendor was able to repair the line and restore service several days before classes resumed.

Fiber optic cable

Pop-up food distribution

Boulder's food industry immediately reached out to see how they could support students and their families during this difficult time. Our Food Services team has been working with these outstanding partners to create pop-up food distribution events, including this one at Douglass Elementary.

Pop up food distribution at Douglass Elementary following the Marshall Fire

 

COVID-19 Heroes

Inspired by these heroes? Learn about the Boulder Valley School District's heroes from the Great Pandemic.

COVID-19 Heroes