pointsettiaVUSD CBS Los Angeles
Pointsettia Elementary and other schools in the Ventura Unified District are set to reopen Wednesday.

With fire threat easing, Ventura (Calif.) Unified District prepares to reopen

Massive wiidfires have kept thousands of students in the region out of class.

After missing a week of classes because of widespread wildfires, the 17,000 students in the Ventura (Calif.) Unified School District are scheduled to return to school Wednesday.

CBS Los Angeles reports that school employees returned to work Tuesday, and students will resume classes the following day.

“We have the resources to replace backpacks, textbooks, paper,” says Ventura Superintendent David Creswell. “We’re gonna be flexible on homework assignments, all those types of things. We just need to get your kids to school.”

Students have been unable to attend school because of the massive Thomas Fire that has burned more than 230,000 acres in the area. The Ventura County Office of Education says many schools that had been closed have now reopened, but some schools that have been severely affected are not ready to reopen.

The Ojai Unified District has closed its schools until Jan. 2 so that workers can use the winter break to clean up smoke and wind damage.

"We will not have staff or students return to school until we can be certain the indoor air quality is safe," says Ojai Superintendent Andrew Cantwell. "This restoration cannot begin until outdoor air quality imporves, and it will take at least a week to complete."

Creswell says all of Ventura Unified's facilities have been spared from fire damage, but there have been several close calls.

Video: Ventura Supt. Creswell addresses staff and community members:

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