BOULDER COUNTY, Colo. (CBS4)– When the Marshall Fire tore through Louisville last week, it spared little in its path. It leveled neighborhoods, including where the Crean Family has lived for more than a decade.

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“We know it’s going to be a year, maybe more, before we can rebuild,” said Tim Crean, whose home on Eldorado Lane was among the hundreds destroyed.

Right now, the Crean’s are just trying to build some normalcy. That includes getting their two daughters back in school.

“Getting back to their normal routine as fast as they can I think is most important,” said Joanna Crean.

Her daughter, Colby, is a freshman at Monarch High School, which was spared in the Dec. 30, 2021 firestorm. Colby is glad the school is okay and that classes will start back up this week.

“I don’t think I’m ever ready to go to school,” the 14-year-old said with a laugh, “but I think it’s better than staying in a friend’s basement all day.”

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Boulder Valley School District officials considered delaying the return after the holiday to give families like the Crean’s time to deal with the impacts of the fire. However, they’ve now decided schools will reopen as planned on Wednesday, Jan. 5.

“I know a bunch [of students] are feeling like they’re not ready to go back to school because they don’t have the supplies or they don’t feel ready,” Colby told CBS4’s Kelly Werthmann, “but I know the school is supplying us with everything we need, and they’re here for us.”

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A few thousand people have signed an online petition started by a Monarch High student, urging the district to give them more time. Yet Colby said going back to school will be helpful for those who, like her, have lost everything.

“Everyone’s looking at it in such a negative way, like ‘Ugh, school. We aren’t ready, we need more time, something big just happened.’ And I feel like no one is looking at it in the perspective that it’s normal, that we’re going to be around friends,” she said. “I think all of us being together and just taking it slow is just going to help everyone.”

Kelly Werthmann