Students at 2 Porter Ranch Schools Prepare to Attend New Campuses Amid Gas Leak

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Rosie Van Zyl, a seventh- and eighth-grade science teacher at Porter Ranch Community School, gets her classroom at Northridge Middle School ready for students' first day back from winter break. (Credit: Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times)

When Walter Arwood moved to Porter Ranch with his husband and daughter in February, he was seeking refuge from city life.

The community quickly came to provide stability for his family in a crucial way: Arwood took custody of his niece, Carly, over the summer. Carly had been in the foster care system and was “deathly afraid” to start school, but Porter Ranch Community School became her rock.

Then, Arwood said, that sense of calm and safety was disrupted. Carly, 12, missed the last two weeks of school before winter break because she wasn’t feeling well.

Arwood said he believed that the fumes released by the Aliso Canyon gas leak made her ill. Now, she is bracing for a new challenge.

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