D-20, D-38 students and staff lose homes in fire

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Many students and staff members in both Academy School District 20 and Lewis-Palmer School District 38 were affected by the Black Forest Fire in some way or another.

Three D-20 schools, Edith Wolford Elementary School, School in the Woods and Discovery Canyon Campus were in the evacuation zones as well as Ray E. Kilmer in D-38. The fire came dangerously close to Wolford and School in the Woods but didn't cause any damage to the buildings. DCC is located on Northgate Boulevard in Flying Horse and Kilmer is on Walker Road.

Two D-38 schools, Lewis-Palmer High School and Bear Creek Elementary School, were in the pre-evacuation zone.

Approximately 41,000 people were evacuated at one point and more than 500 homes are considered a total loss.

D-20 is still confirming which students and staff lost their homes but as of June 17 161 students living in 91 houses had their homes either destroyed or partially damaged. Twenty-two staff members have lost their homes.

Two D-38 families lost their homes which impacted three students and five staff members also lost their homes. One staff member had their property damaged.

In an email sent to parents of D-20 students Superintendent Dr. Mark Hatchell said, “The foundation of Academy District 20 is strong and the people even stronger. We will rise to meet the challenges before us. Our school district has been committed to our students, staff and community for more than 50 years. That commitment will not waiver. Through adversity we will rise to even greater heights.”

Staff and administrators from D-38 were able to get critical equipment and school records out of Kilmer before the fire moved in the school's direction. There was no opportunity to retrieve any items from Wolford or School in the Woods.

When DCC was still in pre-evacuation status there were students at the school attending sports camps and students were sent home but there were no items removed from the school because the focus was on the students.

“We'll be providing any resources available to our student families and staff members,” D-38 Superintendent John Borman said. “What I love about our community is people are really quick to reach out to make sure everyone is all right. I'm really proud of this community. The key is to continue to reach out.”

It is not known how many students were affected in Falcon District 49.