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Chico Unified School District to submit applications for in-person learning at several elementary schools

Butte County received 10 Elementary school waivers that, if approved, could bring students back to the classroom.

Posted: Aug 21, 2020 12:28 AM
Updated: Aug 21, 2020 8:13 AM

CHICO, Calif. - Butte County received 10 Elementary school waivers that, if approved, could bring students back to the classroom.

"I definitely miss my students, I definitely miss the energy and the bustle of campus," said a Chico Unified Teacher. "I mean when we walk on campus to start our day there's nobody here and it feels pretty lonely and I didn't get into teaching to have that feeling you know," they said.

This fee waiver granted by the county is only for Elementary schools, and those schools have to submit their own rubric on how to keep things safe.

"So when you're developing a plan they actually give you very specific things you have to talk about," said CUSD Board Member Ted Sullivan, Director of Elementary Education. "When this specific situation arises what are you going to do? So there's a whole bunch of elements and they're all kind of safety-related."

If the application is accepted that means we can start to see children back in the classrooms like these, but being in a classroom during a pandemic means staying socially distant while wearing a mask.

Parents in Chico have mixed reactions to possible in-person learning.

"Kids need to be a part of socializing there and getting the teachers to help. Parents have to work they don't get the help, the one-on-one attention," said a local parent who thinks children should return to the classroom.

"I'm thankful for the decision as a parent and as an employee. I think safety should be the number one priority," said another parent who thinks children should stay home.

"We're going to start sending some surveys out," said Sullivan, and parents play a big role in deciding whether the school reopens or not. "Inviting them to some zoom-type meetings just to kind of check-in with them and get their thoughts."

Staff is ready for whatever decisions parents make.

"I am on board with it if the staff and the parents want to bring the kids back with the right safety protocols. We're going to make it happen," said Shasta Elementary School Principal Bruce Besnard. "And if it's decided that they don't then we'll make the best of the situation that we are in now."

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