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Chico Unified School Board votes to continue split schedule

The school board voted to continue with the AM/PM model after Winter break but they will meet again in February to reassess the situation.

Posted: Dec 14, 2020 5:47 PM
Updated: Dec 15, 2020 11:46 AM

CHICO, Calif. - Chico Unified School District has come out with a plan to keep kids on campus through the spring semester.

The school board voted to continue with the AM/PM model after winter break but they will meet again in February to reassess the situation. Reopening schools completely could be a possibility.

Jody Taylor, a parent who supports further reopening schools says not reopening the campuses completely is taking a toll on children's mental health. 

"Our kids are really struggling, this isolation and only getting a few hours of interaction are not working," said Taylor.

CUSD board member, Tom Lando says reopening schools completely is risky because there is still not enough data to show what can happen at schools during the pandemic.

"I think there are a lot of things affecting their mental health however the effects of them being on campus and not doing normal school things and having to wear masks and be six feet apart and seeing teachers and friends potentially getting sick that could stress them out," said Lando, who has served on the board since 2018. He added, "Of the speakers, we heard from at the meeting, three were public health experts, all of them urged us to be careful and that full reopening was probably not in the best of the students or the community."

But in a few weeks, the school board will meet again to reassess the risks and decide how to move forward.

"The data is overwhelmingly showing us, this is not working, at the secondary level, 5 times as many F's have been handed out compared to this time last year," said Taylor.

"I am aware the number of F's have gone up. My reaction is that that is terrible, but it's not just indicative of online school not working but all the stress and uncertainty going on in this strange year, a lot of schools are looking at ways to mitigate that, going pass/fail, turning F's into D's. We have been aware that some colleges are changing the way they accept applicants."

Taylor also told Action News Now that she feels the benefits of them being in school outweigh the risks. "They are safer on campus than they could be anywhere else, they are wearing their masks, all of the safety measures are being practiced while on campus."

The school board meeting will take place on Feb 3. 

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Dry conditions, warmer temperatures, and gusty north winds will drive high fire danger and a Red Flag Warning across most of northern California Monday. Winds will diminish and temperatures will warm up on Tuesday. We'll stay dry and heat up later this week. Cooler temperatures then return for your weekend.
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