The soonest any elementary or secondary schools in the Malibu area hope to have students in classrooms is on Monday, Nov. 26, after the Thanksgiving holiday.
None of the schools had sustained major structural damage as of 5 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 15.
Head of MUSE School Jeff King confirmed both of the school’s campuses on Las Virgenes Canyon and Las Virgenes roads were still standing, via a social media post. “Because of inaccessibility, we may not be able to open on the 26th,” King said in an online statement.
Our Lady of Malibu Church—and by extension, OLM School—were intact with no visible damage. OLM School Office Manager confirmed school would be back in session on the 26th.
Head of Viewpoint School Mark McKee wrote a letter to the Viewpoint community Wednesday, stating the school would be open with a late start schedule on Friday, Nov. 16. “As of now, the Viewpoint School campus is safe, no longer under evacuation, and environmental testing indicates the air quality is healthful for students and teachers to return,” McKee wrote, adding that attendance from Nov. 16-20 was optional. (The Thanksgiving holiday starts after the 20th.)
Oaks Christian School in Westlake Village will stay closed through the Thanksgiving holiday. The school was aiming to be open by Thursday, Nov. 14; information on the school’s website said, “While we desire to help students resume their learning and return their lives to normal, we simply could not achieve the environmental safety level needed for the care, health, safety and comfort of our students, faculty and staff.”
As for Malibu schools in the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District, The Malibu Times confirmed Point Dume Marine Science School, Webster Elementary, Juan Cabrillo Elementary School and Malibu Middle/Malibu High School were still standing. MHS did suffer some fire damage—“There appears to be some minor damage to the MHS field and possibly a construction trailer, but otherwise all are in good condition,” a spokesperson for the school district described on Saturday, Nov. 10.
District personnel as of Tuesday had not yet been able to inspect the schools, due to the mandatory evacuation order in place for City of Malibu.
SMMUSD spokesperson Gail Pinsker confirmed schools would remain closed through Nov. 26.
“If you have any concerns or needs, please reach out to your school principal,” a statement shared by the school district said.
In the meantime, four classrooms at Olympic High School will be available to Malibu students in grades K-12 from 8:30 a.m. - 3 p.m. Monday through Friday. To sign up, visit bit.ly/2z9bKZs.
Pepperdine University was still intact, with some damage toward the back of campus. Approximately 3,500 students, staff and faculty members stayed at the university overnight from Friday into Saturday, in accordance with the university’s shelter-in-place protocol.
Pepperdine announced it had cancelled classes through the Thanksgiving holiday for the Malibu and Calabasas campuses. Classes are scheduled to resume on Nov. 26.
“Classes impacted by the closure of the Malibu and Calabasas campuses will be administered remotely through a combination of online, email and remote assignments,” information from the university stated.
Families looking for resources on how to talk to their kids about wildfires and dealing with mental health can visit bit.ly/2TeDfsV.