CHICO, Calif. - Students in Chico will now have to wait a little longer to return to full in-person instruction.
If a county stays in the orange tier for two weeks, schools are technically able to reopen fully. However, Wednesday night the Chico Unified School Board voted to continue with the split schedule at least through Spring 2021 regardless of what tier the county is in.
Chico Unified Parent, Tiffany Ridenhour says, "Moving forward with precautionary measures, not moving forward too fast I think is crucial to find some sort of safe normalcy."
Chico Unified Superintendent of Business Services, Kevin Bultema says the decision was made so students and staff could have consistency and embrace the new split schedule model. He says the district hopes it will help stop the spread of infection as we head into the holiday season.
As health experts across the country say we could see a spike in cases during the next couple of months, Action News Now asked Butte County Health Officer, Dr. Robert Bernstein, if opening up schools was safe.
"There is evidence across the country that shows that reopening schools, whether we are talking about K-12 or institutions of higher learning is associated with clusters even outbreaks," said Bernstein. "However, if the schools follow the California state directions and requirements I am hopeful that problem will not be widespread."
If Butte County moves back into the purple tier, the school board will have to hold a meeting within seven days to decide whether the district will stay in the split schedule or continue with online only.
This would give the board an opportunity to assess what is going on in the county before making a decision.
A recent survey showed that only 40% of teachers agreed to returning to the classroom if the county is in the red tier.