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Notre Dame School in Chico goes back to in-person classes

Notre Dame Catholic School in Chico is holding in-person classes for students for the first time since the start of the pandemic.

Posted: Oct 5, 2020 5:29 PM
Updated: Oct 6, 2020 6:34 AM

Chico, Calif. - Notre Dame Catholic School in Chico is holding in-person classes for students for the first time since the start of the pandemic.

Action News Now was there to see how students were handling all the changes

"I like it more at school, it's more fun because you get to see all your classmates,” said sixth-grader Partick Matthews.

Matthews also talked about what social distancing is like.

"It's pretty easy in the classrooms, but then when you are playing around outside its harder, but it's possible,” said Matthews.

The school had to get a waiver approved by Butte County to have kindergarten through sixth grade return.

"It is so much better than staring at a screen and it is so much better to be at school,” said fourth-grader Kendall Harrigan.

Harrigan says she and her classmates are getting used to social distancing and wearing their masks.

"Well it is just so natural to go by other people, but everyone is doing great at it so it's not too hard now,” said Harrigan.

Principal Marci Johnson explained getting a plan together was the first and hardest step.

"How do we get them ready to wash their hands how to we keep sanitizing before and after kits?" said Johnson.

Johnson explained the desks can be closer together vertically, but they have to be at least 3-to-5 feet apart in width.

"In our classrooms where we have a few more kids, we've taken and we have some kids in the class and some kids out of the class so we can accommodate the vertical spacing."

The principal then added they can do the 3-to-5 feet because the kids are required to wear masks at all times.

They are also helping the kids’ social distance in the hallways.

Johnson said it is kind of like the grocery store because everyone is going in one direction and out another.

"It's a whole little dance we are keeping kids going in one direction and out one direction at all times it's one of those things we have to do to keep social distance,” said Johnson.

At lunch, the kids are also required to stay with their own grade.

"So just like when you go to the restaurant with your family you can eat and take off your mask so these guys are all in the same cohort so those were sixth graders and they stay with their sixth-grade group," said Johnson. "They can't have any contact sports, there is calisthenics going on, yoga that is going on there are sports where you are keeping separate."

P.E. looks different depending on the age and what the kids can handle to stay safe.

"We take our masks off, but we are still social distancing, we just don't want to faint from not getting enough oxygen. Right now we are doing Frisbee, but we are still social distancing and staying six feet away," said Harrigan.

Even with the changes Matthews and Harrigan say they are happy to be back at school.

"It's so much easier being at school when you just raise your hand, ask a question, get an answer, and write it down," said Harrigan.

"I have wanted to come back to school. I like it more at school,” said Matthews.

All the classes are limited to 20 to 23 kids. Administrators are hoping to have seventh and eighth graders back on October 13th.

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 923648

Reported Deaths: 17559
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Los Angeles3050707044
Riverside675521306
San Bernardino641311073
Orange594421468
San Diego55898885
Kern34114420
Fresno31195439
Sacramento25882499
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Sonoma9601136
Merced9588155
Kings848683
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Placer429059
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Yolo325060
Butte313453
Santa Cruz284825
Shasta199931
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Tehama9219
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Lake70216
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Nevada6328
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Mono1822
Del Norte1801
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Plumas760
Modoc450
Trinity280
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Chico
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We're closing out the month of October on a beautiful note weather-wise over northern California with plenty of sunshine and above-average temperatures. Halloween will bring slightly warmer temperatures and more sunshine.
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