Chico parents and students rally in front of school board meeting for full-time in-person learning

Chico Unified School Board already voted in the previous board meeting to stick to the AM-PM model for the remainder of the school year. Still, parents, students and even teachers showed they want to get back into the classroom.

Posted: Feb 17, 2021 11:49 PM
Updated: Feb 18, 2021 9:06 AM

CHICO, Calif. - Members of the school board drove into the meeting on Wednesday, and they were met with dozens of students and parents chanting and holding up signs to open schools full time, but that is something the board already voted on in their last meeting.

"We want full time, we want full time, we want full time," chanted the parents and students at Pleasant Valley High School.

"Our kids are receiving about half the education they should be," said Jody Taylor, a mother of three.

Signs reading, 'Back to School, It's time' -- 'Kids are Hurting,' Parents and students wanting all schools to be open full-time.

"We are taxpayers, we pay for these buildings and facilities, and the students are largely locked out of them," said Taylor.

Students chanted all around, pleading to go back to a full-time schedule.

"I'm in eighth grade and it's really sad because we don't know if we're going to be having an eighth-grade graduation," said one student, Elle Read. "So, we just want to go back to school so we can plan those things and be able to have them since they're an important part of our life."

But two weeks ago the board decided to continue the AM-PM model for the remainder of the school year, making full-time in-person learning impossible until at least the fall.

"Two hours is not enough for them to learn what they need to know. We need full-time, the kids need full-time," said Kim Castor, a mother of five Chico Unified students.

"No, on a daily basis we run out of time, the kids need to be there they want to be there," said third-grade teacher Sandy Granicher.

"It's for the kids, I have special needs children, and they're just not getting the services and attention that they need," said Castor.

The board addressed student learning loss and brought forward several ideas such as an extra period at the beginning or the end of the day and providing tutoring for every student who needs it.

"Back to normal, back to as normal as possible," said Jody Taylor's husband. "If we took the safety precautions we can all be working, all be going to school and be as safe as possible."

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Another mostly sunny and hot day for northern California today, quite similar to yesterday. Our weather will begin to change tomorrow, however, as a disturbance brings more clouds, cooler air, and a few showers and thunderstorms.
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