Fire delays first day of school for LEUSD students


Monday was supposed to be the first day of the 2018/2019 school year for Lake Elsinore School District students; however, as a result of the Holy fire that erupted in Holy Jim Canyon on Aug. 6, the start of the school year has been postponed until Monday, Aug. 20, following an emergency resolution by the Board of Trustees last Friday.

The fire came close to two schools within two mandatory evacuation areas, Luiseno School in the Horsethief Canyon Community and Rice Canyon Elementary at the north end of Lake Elsinore, just reaching a strip of perimeter landscaping along the Lincoln Street side of Rice Canyon Elementary School before being quickly put out by firefighters on scene.

On Aug. 11, recovery efforts and contract work to clean up ash and replace HVAC filters, among numerous recovery tasks, got underway to get ready for the Aug. 20 school opening. Luiseno, Rice Canyon Elementary School and Terra Cotta Middle School became accessible for preliminary damage assessment and cleanup on Aug. 13.

The school year will not be extended, pending a waiver LEUSD is seeking from the California Department of Education as a result of recent disaster declarations. This means winter and spring breaks, as well as graduation dates and LEUSD’s last day of school, will be unchanged.