It started off as a regular Friday morning. Staff meeting, chit chatting and making excuses not to start class. First period went off without a hitch. Second period started with way too much stress. The students were not ready to turn in the assignment that was due, and so they were in negotiation mode. I, however, was not in negotiation mode. So off to the library we went, to get that assignment finished.
Just before I was going to give the students a twenty minute time warning, the fire alarm sounded. Out of the library we went, nothing to worry about (monthly fire drills help with this). After a bit we were asked to move from our locations just outside the school building to the football field. Off we went, chatting and talking about C.S.’s shattered iPhone screen.
On the football field we continued our conversations only slightly concerned about what was going on. Then another teacher told me to spread the news, “The fire is contained, the fire department is here, we’ll probably be on the field for an hour.” So we spread the word. Then we heard more sirens. I started to wonder, if the fire was contained why are there more sirens? That is when we saw this:
This fire was clearly not “contained”. While we watched the smoke billow out of the building four more fire trucks arrived. Luckily no one was hurt and we were able to get all the students off campus and home safely. Unfortunately the fire destroyed a large portion of the school just one month before the end of the year.
This should be an interesting end of the school year. Still don’t know much about what is going to happen. I will return to school tomorrow to help students retrieve their personal belongings from our undamaged campus. Wednesday all staff will return and hopefully we’ll start planning and preparing for the remaining weeks.
The day of the fire the students and staff were great. Some of my former students even took advantage of the time on the football field to prepare for their IB History exam (which was toady) by quizzing me! Students followed directions and stayed calm. The community came out in full force, bringing food and water to students, staff and emergency personal. I love the community that I work in and I will really miss it when I leave.
UPDATE (5/16/2012): The school was open to the local newspaper today, here the the pictures of the damage: WHS Fire Aftermath