With the arrival of August, our focus is moving from vacations and summer camp to the start of another school year. For many young students in the Shaker Schools, this year is going to be a little different due to the fire at Fernway Elementary School and the decision to send Fernway students to Boulevard, Onaway and Woodbury.
As we moved from the surprise and sadness about the fire into thoughtful action, I have seen firsthand what makes Shaker such a special place. Before the fire was even fully extinguished, the community had already started to mobilize with donations and support pouring in for first responders, Fernway faculty, and our youngest residents. This response laid the foundation for a spirit of cooperation that has carried us through a careful and thoughtful decision-making process about next steps.
Since the fire occurred, I have spent considerable time talking and working with City staff, school administrators, the School Board, Fernway representatives, and residents from across Shaker who have committed to finding solutions to a wide range of issues related to the fire. On behalf of the City, we continue to work through details related to:
- Site security
- Before/after care programs
- Temporary parking for teachers
- Traffic impacts
- Fire investigation
The City’s investigation into the fire has been detailed, professional and thorough, and is nearing its conclusion. Once we have concluded the investigation, we will share the results with the Schools and community, and evaluate whether any changes to building or safety policies and procedures are necessary and/or appropriate.
Let me express my most sincere thank you to everyone in our community for rallying around Fernway this summer. I am proud and moved by your compassion and generosity.
I hope you enjoy the remainder of your summer.