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Gazette Premium Content School districts providing transportation for students displaced by the Black Forest fire

By Debbie Kelley Updated: August 20, 2013 at 3:49 pm

Students whose families lost their homes in this summer's Black Forest fire aren't being left behind.

Two local districts, Academy School District 20, which started school Monday, and Falcon School District 49, which has been in session since Aug. 1, are accommodating students so that they can attend the schools they had planned to go to this fall, even if they have moved outside of the districts.

D-20 has 161 displaced students, said spokeswoman Nanette Anderson. Of those, 10 have moved outside the district but are being transported to schools within the district.

Another eight families have moved outside the district and are receiving fuel cards for gas.

Anderson said the district is supplying fuel cards to those who do not have a bus stop near their homes. The amount given on fuel cards is based on the average miles from their place of residence to school and the average cost of fuel, she said.

Nine students are on a specialized in-district route to Pine Creek High School, and nine students have transferred to another district.

Of the 125 remaining students, approximately half have said they don't need transportation, Anderson said. The remaining 60 are riding buses on existing or modified choice routes outside of their neighborhood schools but within the district, Anderson said.

Families of six D-49 students experienced total losses of their homes in the fire. D-49 offered the same busing service as it does for homeless students - picking them up from wherever they are staying, said spokeswoman Stephanie Wurtz.

However, none of the displaced students has needed to be bused, she said.

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