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Our Future After the Fire: The future of the Paradise Unified School District

Action News Now launched a new series of reports, Our Future after the Fire, each Thursday night and Friday morning exploring an issue with a long-term impact as a result of the fire.

Posted: Jun 7, 2019 10:55 AM
Updated: Jun 7, 2019 12:27 PM

PARADISE, Calif. - The school year is coming to a close for North State students, and for the Paradise Unified School District, it has been a long year. 

Action News Now took a look back - and more importantly, a look forward - in regards to the district.

The superintendent of the district feels very strongly that the survival of the town of Paradise and the survival of the school district go hand-in-hand. 

For every school in Paradise, it has been a silent seven months as all have either been damaged or destroyed by the Camp Fire. 

Michelle John was once the principal of Paradise High School, and now she is the superintendent of the district. 

"It's been horrific," she said. "There's no word to describe what we've been through. There's no preparation."

After the fire, it took one month, some creativity, and the generosity of the surrounding school districts to get Paradise students back into the classroom. 

Bird Street School in Oroville became the home of students from Paradise Elementary. It has been a school year like no other for veteran teacher Laura Taylor. 

"When we first got back together again in December that was the happiest day," Taylor said. "It was ... so, so good to see those kids streaming through the doors in the cafeteria. We didn't know how many would come back."

Only one in four students came back and inevitable, the six months after the fire was not necessarily filled with joy. 

"There's been a lot of sad days," she said. "[A] sad day is when a student comes to school and says, 'this is my last day.' Sad days are when a child says 'I'm starting to forget what my house looks like.' Sad days are when they talk about their friends and they hope they're OK and they don't know where they are."

John said the plan for the fall is to bring the students that attended Ponderosa and Paradise Elementary together at Paradise Intermediate School. 

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 284012

Reported Deaths: 6573
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Los Angeles1207643582
Riverside21101506
Orange18892369
San Diego17578399
San Bernardino15932272
Imperial7343121
Alameda6925140
Fresno692481
San Joaquin560058
Kern554384
Santa Clara5478165
Tulare5175139
Sacramento456676
Contra Costa409286
San Francisco402050
Ventura385850
Santa Barbara374230
San Mateo3692111
Marin298926
Stanislaus288945
Kings275537
Monterey223917
Solano182627
Merced162311
Sonoma146612
Placer93811
San Luis Obispo8082
Yolo72326
Madera7137
Santa Cruz5013
Napa4484
San Benito2922
Butte2753
Sutter2753
Lassen2670
El Dorado2640
Shasta1635
Humboldt1544
Nevada1511
Glenn1460
Yuba1392
Lake981
Tehama941
Mendocino920
Colusa860
Calaveras610
Del Norte581
Tuolumne570
Mono481
Amador340
Inyo341
Siskiyou320
Mariposa311
Plumas130
Alpine20
Trinity20
Sierra10
Unassigned00
Chico
Clear
68° wxIcon
Hi: 98° Lo: 66°
Feels Like: 68°
Oroville
Clear
66° wxIcon
Hi: 98° Lo: 66°
Feels Like: 66°
Paradise
Clear
68° wxIcon
Hi: 91° Lo: 66°
Feels Like: 68°
Chester
Clear
46° wxIcon
Hi: 82° Lo: 54°
Feels Like: 46°
Red Bluff
Clear
72° wxIcon
Hi: 100° Lo: 67°
Feels Like: 72°
Willows
Clear
68° wxIcon
Hi: 101° Lo: 64°
Feels Like: 68°
More heat and sunshine for our area today, and thankfully weaker wind for our dry region. The highs will get hotter, but the wind will also get stronger late in the forecast.
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