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Chico Unified School Board decides reopening plan amid coronavirus pandemic

The Chico Unified School District voted Wednesday night on a school reopening plan with just one month until the first day of school.

Posted: Jul 15, 2020 11:32 PM
Updated: Jul 16, 2020 11:47 AM

CHICO, Calif. - The Chico Unified School District voted Wednesday night on a school reopening plan with just one month until the first day of school.

The board approved on July 15 a reopening plan that is in accordance with the state's restrictions and stages.

"I'd like to take a roll call decision on this. Griffin, yay - the final vote is four to one, but the motion passes."

Option three was approved for all schools. They will split the school body into two groups, one group that goes in the morning and another in the afternoon, but will allow for a Monday, Wednesday, Friday schedule one week, and a Tuesday, Thursday the next week, to limit the student's time on campus.

The school board did purchase over 1,000 face shields to be passed out to students and staff, as well as thermometers to record temperature before allowing anyone on campus.

"Staff and students are provided for. Chico is requiring students and staff to wear mask," said a School Board member.

Still -- some parents say that isn't enough.

"Social distancing is not possible through classrooms, not possible," said a concerned parent.

Butte County is close to being placed on the state's county watchlist, and if does eventually end up on the list, the board is prepared to change guidelines as ordered.

"I understand the concerns, of going into a classroom and facing possible risks," said Board President Elizabeth Griffin. "We need to plan for what can possibly happen."

But teachers aren't quite certain of returning back to the classroom.

"I have to say that everyone that I talked to is very nervous. We are very nervous about returning," said a teacher for Chico Unified School District who also has children in the school system. "I don't feel that even with the measures of the PPE or anything else that it will mentally ensure me that I am not bringing anything home or that we'll all be safe."

To limit contact and risk of exposure, Chico Unified is encouraging sack lunches. The board will vote in a later meeting on providing students with meals during school time.

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Thankfully, the wind is cooperating much better today in northern California. Our weather is still quite hot for this time of year and very dry. There is plenty of haze and smoke from the Fawn Fire overhead, and it isn't leaving yet.
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