PG&E power shutoff prompts school closures in Santa Rosa

Bay Area

SANTA ROSA (KRON) — Four of the Santa Rosa City Schools were closed Wednesday afternoon due to the power safety shut off.

Maria Carrillo High School, Rincon Valley Middle School, Santa Rosa Accelerated Charter School and Hidden Valley Elementary School.

“We are going to ensure the safety of our students and try to continue programs as best as we can in these very uncertain times,” said Superintendent Diann Kitamura. “I would rather not close school but in these cases we have to look at all the factors.”

Empty parking lots outside some schools in Santa Rosa  with no power in the areas surrounding the four schools.

Kitamura closed these four schools around 2 p.m. on Wednesday afternoon and they will remain closed through Thursday.

“Uh, it’s pretty frustrating. I’m a single dad so I have to basically leave work, try to work from home and just make it happen. Something we have to get used to,” said on Santa Rosa parent.

About 3,000 of the school district’s 16,000 students will not be in class on Thursday.

The superintendent says she’s working now to see how they will move forward — with more possible power safety shut offs happening in the future.

“I’m going to actually meet with some of these principles of some of these affected schools so we can begin to discuss how do we make up these lost instruction days,” she said.

She says seven schools were forced to close during the last power shut off and that the district lost about 450,000 dollars.

“The long term impact has to be addressed by the state of california. has to be addressed,” Kitamura said.

The superintendent is hoping students will be back to school on Friday at those affected schools that do not have power, however PG&E has told the superintendent that there will not be power until at least noon on Thursday and then they will need about 12 hours of daylight to re-energize the areas where those affected schools are. 

So it is possible that students will not have school again on Friday.

School Closures on Thursday Oct. 24

  • Geyserville Unified School District
  • Rincon Valley Union School District, specific schools only: 
    • Whited Elementary
    • Binkley Elementary
    • Madrone Elementary
    • Sequoia Elementary
    • Rincon Valley Charter School – Sequoia Campus
    • Austin Creek Elementary
  • Santa Rosa City Schools District, specific schools only: 
    • Hidden Valley Elementary
    • Santa Rosa Accelerated Charter
    • Rincon Valley Middle
    • Maria Carrillo High School

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