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01.05.22 Supporting our Community

Dear Peak to Peak Families,

We are truly grateful for your outpouring of concern and care for our Peak to Peak students and families, particularly those in crisis and experiencing loss. This letter provides an update on what has been happening at Peak to Peak since the Marshall Fire started on December 30th and what is still to come. We are also including information about where to get help and how to provide support to those directly and indirectly affected by the fire. 

 

The Impact at Peak to Peak

To help our community better understand the magnitude of the impact on Peak to Peak families, we want to share some high-level information. Within our community, we have confirmed that approximately 10 of our families had homes that were completely destroyed by the fires. We have another 10 to 15 families whose homes were significantly damaged or who are highly impacted or displaced as a result of the damage to their homes. On top of that, another 20 to 30 families are navigating fire-related outages or displacements, but should be able to return to their homes in the near future. In addition to these, more than 100 other families were evacuated and have since returned to their homes, but not without experiencing the stress of this traumatic event. We know that everyone in our community is dealing with the emotional and psychological impacts in varying degrees. Our hearts are heavy with the burden of concern for all of our fellow Peak to Peak families. Our primary concern is for our students, their safety, their health and well-being, and their social-emotional status during this time. Everyone in our community has been touched by this tragedy, and that is a lot to absorb.

 

Ongoing Outreach

Counselors, teachers, and administrators are in direct contact with each of our highly-impacted families. This outreach is continuing on an individual basis as we learn more about the degree to which students have been affected. We will continue to work with families on an individual basis in a thoughtful and caring way. We will walk alongside those who are experiencing significant losses and displacements as they navigate the long road ahead. While immediate support through crisis-oriented agencies has been of utmost importance initially, our role in the long-term support of our families as a school community, which will be significant, is just beginning.

 

Protecting Privacy and Ensuring Equity

As a school, we take very seriously our responsibility to protect the privacy of our students and families, including the degree of their needs. Our approach will continue to be respectful of their desired degree of support and visibility. That support is going to look very different for each family. We have developed plans to ensure an appropriate and equitable response for each of our highly-impacted families, but also for our entire community as we continue to process the scale of this event.

 

How You Can Help 

We know that many of you have offered your support already and others are waiting for the opportunity to step forward. Now that our counselors and administrators have gathered more information about our families’ specific needs, we are prepared to engage the full community in supporting them with the long-term support they are going to need. We’ve developed a webpage to address our families and students with ongoing needs and to create a pathway for those of you wishing to make donations and to offer your support. More information is available on the webpage. There you will find that The Peak to Peak Board of Directors will be leading an initiative to collect and distribute a special “Marshall Fire Fund” to our impacted families. A group of volunteers is also already assembled to help facilitate the collection of donated time, services, meals, and resources. This group has begun to work with Peak to Peak staff members and will be ramping up outreach efforts in the days, weeks, and months ahead. If you have not already done so and would like to join this group, please reach out through the links on the website or go to www.peaktopeak.org/Marshall

In addition, we have received a designated donation of school supplies from Impact on Education, which will be distributed to affected Peak to Peak students. We are also working with student groups on campus who have expressed a desire to help in a variety of ways. We’ve taken a comprehensive approach to leverage the greatest level of support while minimizing overlaps and reducing the potential of further overwhelming our highly impacted families.  

 

External Support 

A number of community organizations are also collecting donations and items to benefit the entire community. Please check out the Boulder Office of Emergency Management page for details and additional information about the current status of the situation.

Thank you for your ongoing support and care for everyone in our community, and especially those who are experiencing significant disruption to their lives during this crisis. We know that recovery from the fires will take time and that people’s needs are different. These needs will also undoubtedly change as the situation evolves. We are taking these steps to thoughtfully organize so that our community can offer steady and targeted support to our students and families. Our intent is to be responsive to their needs and reflective of the strong value we place on the community at Peak to Peak. 

 

With gratitude and kind regards,

Peak to Peak’s Leadership Team