Public schools throughout Napa County will reopen on Wednesday Oct. 18, with the exception of Calistoga, which will remain closed through at least Oct. 20, the Napa County Office of Education said Thursday.
Justin-Siena High School, a private school, will also reopen on the 18th, the school announced Thursday, but student-led conferences set for that day are cancelled. Staff is asked to report on the 17th.
Napa Valley College plans to resume classes on Tuesday, Oct. 17. Staff is asked to return on Monday.
“We need the weekend to transition our campus from an emergency shelter operation to a learning center, and we need Monday to prepare out staff for resumption of classes,” Dr. Ron Kraft, the college’s president, said on Thursday.
Since Monday, the college has housed hundreds of fire evacuees in three on-campus shelters that are being run at capacity by the Red Cross under the auspices of the Napa County Office of Emergency Services.
Superintendents of the all the public school districts in the county met Thursday with the Office of Education to coordinate their plans. They said the districts will be in touch directly with staff to discuss when they should report back to work.
The Office of Education warned that the reopening date was based on the assumption that the fire situation and air quality would improve. The date is subject to change if the situation deteriorates, officials said.
Calistoga remains a question mark. The entire city remains evacuated indefinitely as firefighters prepare to make a stand against the Tubbs fire, which is now burning on a broad front north of the city.
The Calistoga district sprawls well north and west of the city into parts of Sonoma County, and that area suffered devastating damage Sunday and Monday as the Tubbs fire spread into Knights Valley and Santa Rosa. Roads through that area remain impassible.
Even if the city itself escapes damage, therefore, it could be a challenge for students and staff living in the damaged areas to reach the schools, officials said.
The districts reopening on Oct. 18 are Napa Valley Unified School District, St. Helena Unified School District, Pope Valley Union Elementary School District, Howell Mountain Elementary School District and Napa County Office of Education schools.