Moulton, Wood Canyon unite in the face of natural emergency



The Coastal Fire sparked in the Laguna Niguel community late in the afternoon of Wednesday, March 13, and spread quickly. As the evening progressed, it became apparent that a plan needed to be devised for Moulton Elementary, which was in the recommended evacuation zone. Cancelling school on Thursday would be the easiest option, but CUSD has prioritized in-person instruction and continuity since the onset of the Pandemic. Students would be best served at school.

Wood Canyon was identified as a viable option to host Moulton for the day, and the Comets more than rose to the occasion to accommodate the Eagles.

Early Thursday morning, Wood Canyon, Moulton and District staff organized to ready the campus for additional students. Tables and chairs were brought into vacant temporary classrooms, extra Chromebooks were supplied for students who might not have them, extra food was delivered for lunch. Every possible resource the District could provide in this extraordinary situation was shared. Wood Canyon parents donated food and snacks for the faculty and staff. By 8:15 a.m., more than 300 Moulton students were grouped together with their teachers and escorted to their new classrooms.

The dual school setup continued on Friday, and the campus was uplifted with a visit from some educational dignitaries. CUSD Trustees, Superintendent Vital Brulte, California State Superintendent Tony Thurmond and Orange County Superintendent Al Mijares visited Wood Canyon to observe how the schools navigated the challenge quickly and offer support to those displaced by the fires.

While the two days were unorthodox, they were a demonstration of amazing leadership and a team effort. CUSD came together to provide a great experience for students.

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