Baker ES parents and teachers prepare for temporary move after fire

HENRICO COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — The Henrico County School System is still trying to determine when teachers and students will be able to return to Baker Elementary after Sunday’s fire.

Until then, grades K-2nd will be bussed to Mehfoud Elementary and 3rd-5th grade will be sent to Varina Elementary.

For some parents, that means splitting up siblings making this process all the more stressful.

“They all, since they were born, have been all together, been going to the same schools together,” said parent Angela Lyons.

Lyons has three daughters that go to Baker Elementary School and ever since she heard the news about the fire, she’s been worried about how it will affect them.

“Now I found out they are going to two separate schools, that was a heartbreaker,” Lyons said.

Lyon’s two youngest will go to Mehfoud, while the oldest will go to Varina.

“These two are like twin sisters, so I’m more nervous for her,” Lyons said.

Teachers are also preparing for the move. Monday, they were able to get some things from their classrooms, but for the rooms closest to the fire, there wasn’t much they could take.

“I’m still hopeful that it’s not totally destroyed,” said 2nd-grade teacher Ashley Steininger. “I’m hoping that some things can be saved and salvaged.”

Teachers said returning to their classroom was harder than they thought.

“It was very emotional,” said 2nd-grade teacher Renarda Shelton. “To say we spend most of our day there and knowing that we prepare for these types of things and it could have happened while we were there, kind of freaked me out.”

Their classroom, along with all their supplies and decorations, was covered in soot.

“It’s blood, it’s sweat, it’s tears, it’s heart, it’s love, it’s a lot that goes into it,” Steininger said. “The money that we put into it but it’s so much more and it’s really sad, it’s sad all around but something good is going to come from this.”

Teachers said they are thankful for the support they’ve received in the community from those wanting to donate supplies.

On Tuesday there will be an open house at both schools from 4-6 p.m. The school system hopes this will make Wednesday’s transition easier.

This is a developing story. Stay with 8News online and on air for the latest updates.

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