Montecito elementary school students, displaced and grieving

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At one public elementary school in Montecito, students went back to school this week without two of their classmates, a kindergartener and 6th-grader who died in the mudslides. Another elementary school is still in an evacuation zone, forcing teachers and administrators to find creative ways to make alternative classrooms.

Photo credit: Kathryn Barnes

5th-grader Noa Lurie-Firestein has been displaced from her home and classroom for more than four weeks because of the Thomas Fire and mudslides in Montecito.

Montecito Union School Superintendent Anthony Ranii decided to create makeshift classrooms at the MOXI Museum, the Santa Barbara Zoo and Santa Barbara City College when he found out his students wouldn’t be able to go back to their campus for weeks.

Gym class at the Santa Barbara Zoo





Kathryn Barnes