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Fire damages Cardinal Newman High School, destroys Hidden Valley Satellite

Cardinal Newman High is seen after a fire destroyed the east side of the school, Monday, Oct. 9, 2017. (VIDEO SCREENSHOT)

KERRY BENEFIELD,

Cardinal Newman High School and neighboring Roseland Collegiate Prep sustained significant damage early Monday, while a small elementary school and a K-12 Christian school burned to the ground.

Hidden Valley Satellite, which serves about 80 primary grade students, was destroyed by the Tubbs fire, which claimed the lives of at least seven Santa Rosa residents and burned tens of thousands of acres across Sonoma and Napa counties. The Hidden Valley campus is located on Parker Hill Drive and adjacent to the Sleepy Hollow neighborhood that was scorched in the fire.

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Over the hill to the west, about half of Cardinal Newman High was destroyed by fire. The library, main office and portable classrooms were burned, according to principal Graham Rutherford.

He estimated that 15 to 18 of the school’s 35 classrooms are likely destroyed.

Classes for the roughly 620 Cardinal Newman students will be canceled for the remainder of the week, Rutherford said.

“The challenge for us is going to be how much classroom space do we have that we can use and what do we do with everybody else,” he said.

Rutherford said the process of determining what is still usable on the Old Redwood Highway campus will dictate how officials proceed.

Roseland Collegiate Prep, on the former Ursuline High School campus that borders Newman, also sustained damage.

Redwood Adventist Academy on Mark West Springs Road was destroyed.

With evacuation orders issued across Santa Rosa, scores of campuses were closed Monday and more will be closed Tuesday, according to officials from the Sonoma County Office of Education.

Schools in the following districts will be closed Tuesday:

Santa Rosa City Schools, Petaluma City Schools, Cotati-Rohnert Park, Alexander Valley, Bellevue, Bennett Valley, Cinnabar, Cloverdale, Dunham, Forestville, Gravenstein, Geyserville, Guerneville, Healdsburg, Harmony, Horicon, Kashia, Kenwood, Liberty, Mark West, Monte Rio, Oak Grove, Old Adobe, Pathways Charter, Piner Olivet, Rincon Valley, Roseland, Sebastopol Union, Sebastopol Independent Charter School, SCOE alternative education, Sonoma County Schools, Sonoma Valley Unified, Two Rock, Twin Hills, Two Rock, West Side, Wright, West Sonoma County Union High, Wilmar, Windsor and Wright.

Santa Rosa Junior College and all affiliated campuses and programs, including online classes, will be closed Tuesday.

“We are still learning the impact of these devastating fires on our community as this situation unfolds. I urge everyone to make safety their top priority,” Sonoma County Schools Superintendent Steve Herrington said in a statement. “Once safety is secured, we must come together to support the many in our community who will be in need of shelter, supplies and comfort. Schools are truly safe heaves where all can gather.”

In Mendocino County, all Mendocino Office of Education programs were closed Monday and will remain shuttered Tuesday as will all Ukiah Unified Schools. Ukiah High School, at 1000 Low Gap Road, is open as a Red Cross shelter.

“In all likelihood, this shelter is going to be in place when students return,” said principal Gordon Oslund.

Approximately 300 of Ukiah High’s 1,600 students are expected to be displaced by the fires. Add to that number teachers and other staff members and Oslund expects that when Ukiah High reopens, the school will have on-hand resources including counselors.

Oslund said he spent time on the phone Monday with Bill Roderick who as principal steered Middletown High through the deadly Valley fire in Lake County in 2015.

“We are really fortunate,” Oslund said. “We have really invested not only in guidance counselors and but also social-emotional counselors.”

In addition to Ukiah High, evacuation centers have been established at the following schools: Analy High School, 6950 Analy Ave.; Elsie Allen High School, 599 Bellevue Road; Cook Middle School, 2480 Sebastopol Road; and Sonoma Valley High School, 2000 Broadway.

You can reach Staff Columnist Kerry Benefield at 707-526-8671 or kerry.benefield@pressdemocrat.com, on Twitter @benefield and on Instagram at kerry.benefield.