Local school reopening dates announced

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Photo by Victoria Pearson

Ojai Valley School's upper campus science and technology building was lost in the Thomas Fire.

Andra Belknap, Ojai Valley News reporter

Most Ojai students will not return to school until January due to the Thomas Fire.

Ojai Unified School District (OUSD) Schools will remain closed through the remainder of 2017, OUSD Superintendent Andy Cantwell said Dec. 8.

“We will not have staff or students return to school until we can be certain the indoor air quality is safe. This restoration cannot begin until outdoor air quality improves and it will take at least a week to complete. Therefore, all OUSD schools will remain closed through winter break. Schools will open January 2, 2018,” Cantwell said.

OUSD's winter break is scheduled for Dec. 19 through Jan. 1.

District staff is working with a hygienist and property restoration contractor to restore HVAC air filters, clear air ducts and remove smoke odors from OUSD school sites.

Cantwell toured each OUSD campus the morning of Dec. 8 and while none of the school structures were damaged due to fire, each suffered smoke damage and have unhealthy indoor air quality, he said.

Besant Hill School and Ojai Valley School (OVS) weren't so lucky.

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