SCHOOL ARSON: Students ready for shift to Girl Scout camp - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

SCHOOL ARSON: Students ready for shift to Girl Scout camp

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Photo by Rob Olson Photo by Rob Olson
ROBERTS, Wis. (KMSP) -

More than 600 elementary school students near Roberts, Wis., will be in for an adventure when they return to class on Monday because they will resume their education at a nearby Girl Scout camp.

The St. Croix Central Elementary School students will not be able to use their building for the rest of the school year because it was heavily damaged by arson last week.

"We have our last wave of people doing cleaning so all is set for tomorrow morning," Principal Steve Sanders told FOX 9 News.

Sanders said he is ready to take the kids to Panther Camp to continue their education while the community copes with the crime.

"It's creative teaching," he said. "We're going to have the greatest 24 days and memories that will last forever for these kids."

With millions of dollars of damage on school property, the district had to find a new facility for finishing the last five weeks of the school year. When someone suggested using the vacant camp 5 miles out of town, it was a no-brainer.

"It really is going to be a day-camp experience for the kids," said Superintendent Dave Bradley.

Bradley explained that the school configured the enormous, wooded campground to accommodate kindergartners through fourth graders -- and they had to start from scratch since all the supplies inside the school were off-limits.

"To think, on Tuesday morning I was called out of bed, told the elementary school was on fire, and then to be here Sunday, ready to start school," Bradley remarked. "Truly a miracle."

The community played an important role in the process, with volunteers and donations pouring in. Together, they landscaped, vacuumed, created men's bathrooms and even set up a make-shift library.

"Our No. 1 priority is the kids," said Heidi Sirek, a kindergarten teacher.

Teachers spent the weekend preparing new, large-group lesson plans since all grades will be sharing the building space -- and they're also figuring out ways to take advantage of their new scenic surroundings.

"We're hoping to see deer -- don't' want to see bears," said Sanders.

Online resources:

- Photos of St. Croix Central Elementary School Damage: https://picasaweb.google.com/103255857019438346568/ElemSchoolDamage?authuser=0&authkey=Gv1sRgCI-tpK37h6jIvgE&feat=directlink

- VIDEO: Inside the damage: http://youtu.be/ksSa7ysDRUg

 

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