UPDATE: No school closures planned Wednesday for Rye Fire

Sheriff's deputies escort a convoy of buses during the evacation of students near West Ranch High School in Stevenson Ranch during the Rye Fire on Dec. 5, 2017. Austin Dave/The Signal
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The Hart district schools evacuated as a result of the Rye Fire on Tuesday were expected to be open for students Wednesday, officials said Tuesday evening.

Officials with the William S. Hart Union High School District received notice of emergency officials lifting an evacuation of the Westridge area as of about 7 p.m. as “a good sign,” said Dave Caldwell, spokesman for the Hart district.

Throughout the afternoon, the campuses of West Ranch High School, Rancho Pico Junior High School, Oak Hills Elementary School and Santa Clarita Valley International (SCVi) Charter School were evacuated to College of the Canyons.

Newhall School District officials also said they were monitoring the progress and intended to have classroom doors open Wednesday for Oak Hills Elementary.

“We are staying in contact with LA Sheriff’s Department and LA Fire for their assessment of the situation,” Newhall School District Governing Board President Christy Smith said.  “As far as the district is concerned right now, we are open (Wednesday).”

The Saugus Union School District, which closed West Creek Academy as a precaution, said it planned to open all district schools tomorrow, as long as the fire did not change direction.


Tuesday Evacuations, Closures

Students who were evacuated from the four school campuses were all taken to various locations on the College of the Canyons campus as they waited for their parents or guardians.

West Ranch High School and Rancho Pico Junior High School were taken to Cougar Stadium, Oak Hills Elementary was taken to the West PE Gymnasium and SCVi was taken to the baseball field.

Earlier in the day, other schools throughout the valley reported that they were monitoring the situation, keeping children inside and assessing power outages.

In the Saugus Union School District, only West Creek Academy was closed “out of an abundance of caution.”

“The school is not being evacuated, but is being closed,” Lee Morrell, SUSD spokesman said.

In the Sulphur Springs Union School District, some schools experienced power outages throughout the day, as gusts as high as 70 miles per hour moved through the valley.

“The maintenance department on top of it and is bringing portable lights to those schools without power,” said Maintenance Office Assistant Linda Richards.

The same was true for some schools in the Newhall School District which intermittently lost power during the morning and early afternoon.

In the Castaic Union School District, teachers and administrators kept students inside throughout the day to protect them from the smoke in the air due to the fires in the area.

“It was pretty smokey around Live Oak (Elementary), but that cleared,” Executive Assistant to the Superintendent Charmin Ortega said.  “All of our students are staying in the MPR for recesses.”

Local colleges also adjusted their schedules Tuesday, canceling daytime and evening classes for students.

“All day classes canceled.  Evening classes meeting. Lunch/Dinner open,” The Master’s University Campus Safety said on its social media accounts.

College of the Canyons kept its campus open throughout the day before it canceled classes after 5 p.m. on both campuses.

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On Twitter as @_ChristinaCox_

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