CHICO, Calif. -- Schools throughout Chico are getting set to begin virtual classes next week, but some parents are trying to change that.
One of them started a website to build support for a waiver allowing in-person classes for elementary school students.
Matt Tennis, a Chico Unified School District Board candidate in this upcoming election, started ChicoParents.Org.
It's a website for parents who want their kids to have in-person instruction.
Tennis hopes to build momentum for the district to apply for a waiver allowing elementary students to opt for in-person instruction rather than distance learning.
He told Action News Now that he thinks kids need person-to-person interaction, and too much time in front of a computer screen, would hurt their education.
“This generation of [kids] is getting short-changed right now, right here in Chico,” said Tennis.
He added, “We need to get these schools opened up and back in business as soon as possible.”
Yet it’s a move that others believe needs a lot more careful consideration.
“We're still seeing from the public health that they feel the threat is high and they are the ones that are talking to the state,” said
President of the Chico Unified School Board Elizabeth Griffin.
According to Griffin, foregoing guidance from the state and county public health departments could have serious implications financially.
“We are obliged to listen to them because our funding comes from them. If we were to just say ‘oh we're not going to abide by this. We're just going to do whatever we want,’ then we risk our funding to even have school, to put school on,” said Griffin.
On top of funding risks, Griffin told me another hurdle involves agreements on operations between stakeholders.
This group includes teacher's unions, parents, the board, and public health experts.
Griffin knows distance learning has drawbacks, but strongly assures that the board is working on ways to limit concerns with socializing, technology gaps, and any other negative impact elementary students may face by not being physically in a classroom.
Anyone interested in signing up for the coalition in favor of in-person instruction can CLICK HERE
For more information on requesting elementary school waivers, CLICK HERE