Students still settling in 1 month after North Bay fires started

SANTA ROSA, Calif. (KGO) -- Thousands of North Bay students missed class time because of the fires. Here's a look at where things stand one month later.

In Santa Rosa, classes have resumed and on a drive to school it can look like everything is back to normal. And then the landscape changes, and one can see it's far from normal

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"It is a huge sense of relief to open schools after three weeks really," said Santa Rosa City Schools Superintendent Diann Kitamura. "It almost is a false sense of relief however because there's still so much work ahead of us."

And there's no playbook on how to cope.

Hundreds of students and teachers lost homes. Hidden Valley satellite school burned to the ground and those students are now attending nearby Hidden Valley Elementary.

BEFORE AND AFTER: North Bay neighborhoods devastated by wildfires

Santa Rosa High School lost an entire department; a 62 acre farm for 300 students taking agriculture classes gone, along with the teacher's house.

"It seems like it was yesterday and the biggest part for me is not the loss of the house - that's huge - but the lost opportunities for the kids," said agriculture teacher Dawn Stornetta.

At Roseland Collegiate Prep, half the school is perfectly habitable and half of it is reduced to ashes. The high school students are now taking classes on the Roseland Creek Elementary School campus.

VIDEO: North Bay fires by the numbers - timeline and statistics

"Losing the school really difficult," said Principal Eli Weinzveg. "I think the hardest part is seeing the families that have been affected."

Cardinal Newman High School's 600 students have been divided up between four different Catholic parishes.

Parents have lots of questions about debris removal stirring up dust. Some schools are monitoring air quality every hour.

So a month after the fire, kids are back in class and that gives them a sense of security and roundedness as they face the challenges still ahead for these schools.

Click here for a look at more stories and videos about the North Bay fires.
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