Gerlach School to close ahead of Burning Man

GERLACH, Nev. (KOLO) Students in Gerlach won't have to go to school when Burning Man heads into town.

The Washoe County School Board of Trustees has unanimously approved a request from Gerlach K-12 to close the school for a week as burners make their way to the Black Rock Desert.

Principal Katy Hadley made the request, citing safety concerns for students and staff. Hadley says during the festival, burners often knock on the doors of the school, leave broken-down cars in the school parking lot, and even try to camp on the football field.

"It's time to look at how we can support the Geralch students with that," she said before the board.

The school will close for a week from Monday, August 28 to September 1, and make up the time during the last week of winter break from January 8 through January 12.

Hadley said a survey indicates 100% of the staff and parents in Gerlach were supportive of this change.

"It's hard to argue with 100 percent," WCSD Board of Trustees president Angie Taylor said.

Parents will be notified of the change before July 7. The change will affect the 2017-18 and 2018-19 school years.