School closes due to fires

School closes due to fires

Smoke hovers over campus Tuesday. Students were told to stay inside. Credit: Kaitlin Musante/Chronicle

Classes and activities were canceled on both the upper and middle school campuses on Wednesday and Thursday due to poor air quality caused by recent fires in the area.

“We took into account air quality, the level of the winds, the containment percentage of the Skirball fire and other factors,” Head of Upper School Laura Ross said in an email. “We are sensitive to separating children from their families while so much is uncertain and where evacuation notices are still coming in our city.”

Fires started in Ventura County on Monday night and have continued to rage across Southern California, forcing many students to evacuate their homes.

The LAPD has ordered the evacuation of homes along Casiano Road, Moraga Drive and Linda Flora Drive and said residents on Mandeville Canyon and Sullivan Canyon should be prepared to evacuate after the Skirball Fire shut down the northbound 405 Freeway near the Getty Center on Wednesday morning.

President Rick Commons recognized that many families have left town to escape the fires and smoke and advised students to tell their deans if they cannot make it back to school on Friday.

The administration will discuss possible changes to the December assessment schedule during a meeting Thursday, after deciding whether school will be in session on Friday, Ross said.

LAUSD officials announced that all schools in the San Fernando Valley and 17 other schools affected by the fires would be closed for the rest of the week.

Students started to feel the effects of the fire and poor air quality Tuesday, such as difficulty breathing, burning eyes, coughing and headaches.

Several other schools in the area have canceled classes, including Buckley High School and Notre Dame, which are under two miles away from campus.

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