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Chico Unified School District to discuss possible change in learning model

The Chico Unified School District will meet Wednesday night, among the topics are how to move forward after Butte County landed back in the purple tier.

Posted: Nov 18, 2020 5:41 PM
Updated: Nov 19, 2020 10:22 AM

For an update on this story, click here.

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CHICO, Calif. - What does the coronavirus surge mean for our schools, that recently welcomed students back to campus?

Chico Unified schools have been holding in-person classes for about a month now. Superintendent Kelly Staley says the move back to the purple tier caught them off guard.

Wednesday night board members could make an important decision when it comes to the safety of our local students and teachers.

"The teacher membership was very split almost down the middle whether or not to remain in the a.m./p.m, in-person instructional model or return to an online-only model so there is no clear consensus from the teacher group and I would guess that's probably true with the parent group as well," said Staley.

She adds that because this is a discussion action item, the board at that point could make several different decisions, they could decide that because we are in purple, the district needs to move back to the online-only model, or they could decide that because they are already open and the governor's executive order allows them to remain open, that they could continue in the a.m./p.m model.

"What I would not expect is to see us move toward any sort of further opening," she said.

She says the board's decision will only impact the period of time between now and the end of the semester on December 18th.
She says if there is a change in the learning model, it would not be effective immediately but instead after Thanksgiving break to give parents time to prepare.

Whatever the district decides will have impacts on hundreds of families. Action News Now spoke with a parent at Shasta Elementary school who says her first-grader hasn't been able to experience a regular school year, first he was impacted by the Camp Fire and now the pandemic.

For a month now, first-grader William Henderson has been adjusting to his new school schedule but that could soon change.
His mother, Briana Henderson says, "It's not fair to the kids, they don't deserve that."

Henderson says the last few months have felt like a rollercoaster.

"They don't deserve to have their school career affected, especially for kids like him that were impacted by the fire and now the coronavirus. He goes to school at 8 a.m. and he says they don't get to do much because he's in first grade and there's a lot of messing around and the teachers have to remind them to sit down and stop playing just like they should at that age, and he's out at 10:30 so it's a lot of rushing," she said.

Henderson has to go into work early to be able to pick her son up and take him to childcare.
"It's pointless to take them to school for two hours it's more detrimental for our lives and our jobs," she said.

The school board meeting will be live streamed at 6 p.m., to watch it, click here.

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