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Temecula schools in danger of closing


Last updated 10/23/2007 at Noon

The student count is plummeting while the evacuee count is sky rocketing at two Temecula high schools, straining the schools and putting them in danger of closing. Temecula Valley High School and Chaparel High School are acting as evacuation sites for hundreds of displaced people around the border of Riverside and San Diego Counties. Meanwhile, parents are pulling their children out of school.

Monday, the number of absent students was twice as big as usual, and today the number was only slightly higher. Unlike the Menifee Union School District, which is suffering from a similar drop off in student count, the Temecula district will not be requesting emergency funds to make up for money they will lose due to the absences.

The evacuees had no effect on the schools’ operation Monday and Tuesday, said the district’s spokesperson Melanie Norton. “The [evacuees] were slow to come in,” Norton said. “People at the sites did a great job at keeping students and evacuees separate.”

This afternoon, large numbers of evacuees poured into the two high schools – which are two of the only three evacuation sites in Temecula. Now the district fears it may have to close down in order to accommodate the evacuees.

Hundreds of evacuees are now living in the schools’ gymnasiums while Blue Cross workers constantly dash busily around the campus.

“We’re still trying to figure out how we’re going to deal with this,” Norton said. District officials will meet at the superintendant’s office at 5:30 p.m. tomorrow to decide whether they will be able to keep the schools open.


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