Porter Ranch students attend class at temporary school campuses

Students from a pair of Porter Ranch-area schools will return to class Tuesday, but not at the campuses they're used to.

On Dec. 17, the LAUSD board declared an emergency at Porter Ranch Community School and Castlebay Lane Charter School in response to the continuing leak from the Aliso Canyon natural gas storage facility. The board
decided to temporarily move students to alternate locations.

Porter Ranch Community School is located about two miles from the Aliso Canyon facility, which has been leaking natural gas since late October. Castlebay Lane Charter school is about one mile from the site.

The roughly 1,100 kindergarten through 8th-grade students at Porter Ranch Community School will return to class at 8:25 a.m. on the campus of Northridge Middle School, according to the district. The 770 kindergarten through 5th-grade students at Castlebay will resume school at 8:30 a.m. at Sunny Brae Elementary School in Winnetka.

The bulk of LAUSD students returned to class Monday, but students at the Porter Ranch schools had an extra day to prepare.

The two schools "have been significantly disrupted by the gas leak,'' according to a staff report presented to the LAUSD board last month. "Absenteeism and visits to the health offices at each of these schools has significantly increased. "Furthermore, since the leak was first reported, families are opting out of attending school and are instead choosing independent study for their children, while others have transferred to a different school."

Additional requests for independent study programs and school transfers continue.

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