Hume Lake Charter School reopens 1 week later than usual due to Rough Fire

FRESNO COUNTY, Calif. (KFSN) -- Gerrit Nelson has lived in the Hume Lake area his entire life. But last week, the Rough Fire forced his family to evacuate. And his first day of 6th grade at Hume Lake Charter School had to be put on hold.

"(I was) kinda scared cause Hume may burn down, but I felt excited because I had an extra week of summer," Nelson said.

When the evacuation order took effect, Hume's Principal Mike Stockdale said students and their families took off to other parts of the state, or even out of the state altogether. But now they're back, and trying to stay inside to avoid the smoke from the fire.

"Right now I have a P.E. class going on and it's inside of a building because of the smoke," he said.

"Which is interesting for this community because we are very outdoors people for the most part," said special education teacher Rachel Smethurst. "So to stay inside until noon is a little strange, but we're lucky that it rolls out in the afternoon and we have beautiful evenings for the most part."

Smethurst says her portable classroom hasn't arrived because of road closures due to the Rough Fire. So she has to be flexible, and the school is being flexible with families of two children who have respiratory issues caused by the smoke.

"Safety and security, health, is more important than a few days of school, so we can work around that," Stockdale said.

They're also working to appeal for lost average daily attendance (ADA) funding through the state. Later this week, the school will be assessed for any smoke damage. On Sept. 14, there will be a school board members will review ADA documents, and it's expected they'll eventually receive credits for those missed days.

"(I'm) just glad we have a school going back again," Stockdale said. "I'm really waiting for the opportunity to have a clear sky again, but in the meantime, we're staying where it's nice and healthy inside, and we're kind of back to normal." null
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