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Many Boulder High School students were disappointed that classes were not able to resume quickly after the Marshall Fire. Among them are (from L-R) Emma Hecht, a sophomore at Centaurus High School. Jaden Crowley, a sophomore at Centaurus High School, and Julia Crowley, a senior at Monarch High School.
When the Marshall Fire tore through their home in the Sagamore subdivision in Superior last week, Julia and Jaden Crowley were home alone. Today that neighborhood no longer exists.
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Around noon on December 30, 18-year-old Julia received a fire alarm from a friend. Then Jaden saw the house across the street light up.
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“I held my sister’s hand. I caught our dogs. I threw them in the car. We didn’t catch anything else. We were still in our pajamas,” Jaden said.
“We couldn’t see,” he said. “I almost crashed my car while driving. We couldn’t breathe. We were suffocated by the smoke. It was too thick. We had ashes on our faces.’
Their out-of-town mother immediately returned to Colorado, and they spent the next week bouncing from hotel to hotel. The sisters wanted to help their mother fill out the FEMA aid application and talk to insurance adjusters.
Meanwhile, the spring semester begins today. The sisters say they can’t deal now because they fled with only the clothes on their backs.
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“Two days ago there were no masks at school. We’re still homeless,” said Jaden, a sophomore at Centaurus High School in Lafayette.
So far, the Boulder Valley School District has insisted that school will continue as planned, even in Louisville and beyond. Julia High School’s Monarch High School barely escaped the fire, but crews had to clear debris from the campus and clear the air inside the building.
District leaders insisted the schools were open not because of the fire, but because they were open. Chief Communications Officer Randy Barber said kids need a safe, stable place, and so do parents.
Our primary focus is not academics, Barber said in an interview. “We are doing everything we can to wrap our arms around them to provide what they need to support them during this difficult time.”
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Barber said absences would be waived and scores would be considered, but he did not say when the more relaxed rules would be implemented.
Some students say that’s not enough. Monarch freshman Kay Nelson and Centaurus sophomore Emma Hecht worked to circulate a petition asking the district to delay or start the semester. It has thousands of signatures.
“We just ask that they understand that it’s not something they can recover from in five days,” Hecht said. “It’s been five days since people watched their houses burn in front of them and they can’t wait for us to go back to school and act like everything is normal.”
The Crowley sisters in Superior still don’t go to class — and they don’t know when they’ll be ready. While it can’t stop school from starting, Hech hopes the district will find ways to support students for the semester.
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These days, especially in Colorado. We can help you get going. The Lookout is a free, daily e-newsletter with news and events from all over Colorado. Register here and we’ll see you in the morning! September School is a private middle and high school in Boulder that excels in relationship-based education. We’re here, and most of all, we’re here for your kids.
Students learn what it takes to succeed academically. We research learning styles and make accommodations for any student who would benefit from them. All students with learning differences learn together. Every day we see young people discover strengths and passions
We view each student as a whole and focus on social-emotional growth and academic development. Teens develop important life skills such as self-advocacy, conflict resolution, stress management, and empathy. Courses in Human Development, Mindfulness, Group Dynamics and Yoga Maths, Science, English and Sociology develop well-rounded individuals.
September School is based on the idea that teenagers learn better in the community. Our students work together to make our school a safe place for everyone. Everyone agrees to abide by the Community Member Agreement: Take Visual Responsibility Be Respectful Challenge Yourself When someone breaks a boundary, we use a restorative justice framework to model empathy and restore relationships.
School Is Back In Session In Boulder County. Students Affected By The Marshall Fire Say That’s Not What They Need
Every week we come together as a community to make decisions, solve problems and celebrate each other’s success. We travel together, cook together, and make art together. Students study together in blended courses and work with faculty on independent honors projects.
Our curriculum focuses on the voices of marginalized communities and allows our students to grow beyond the “bubble” of their own experiences. We study history from multiple perspectives and celebrate diversity. We provide an inclusive community for people with different learning styles and learning abilities, and we welcome straight, LGBTQ, and students of all races.
Our students truly connect with what they learn through internships, fieldwork and travel. Each week’s classes explore Boulder Creek along the trails around the school and draw nature with art walks. Students will intern with local non-profits, organic farms and businesses in the Boulder area.
We travel with students three times a year to build community, develop independence and create a sense of wonder about the world. Students help create itineraries, make reservations, and plan meals. Recent destinations: Costa Rica, Chicago, Montreal, the Badlands of South Dakota, Bag of Colorado, Great Sand Dunes National Park and Puerto Rico.
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September teachers model lifelong learning by sharing their interests, experiences and adventures with their students. For example, our science teacher is a keen photographer and teaches photography in addition to physics. Our social studies teacher shares her faith as a staff sponsor of the Jewish Cultural Club. Students will be able to attend the opening of our art teachers’ exhibition at the art exhibition and imagine their future as creative people.
Ready to learn more? If you think September School might be a good school for your teen, call (303) 443-9933 to learn more.
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