Students in Paradise Return to School After Devastating Fires

It’s hard enough to imagine your school burning down, I mean that would be totally devastating. Now imagine that your entire school district burned down. This is exactly the nightmare for 32,000 kids who were displaced from their educational homes when a raging fire known as the Camp Fire burned down not just their actual homes and their schools but the entire town of Paradise in California. On the morning of November 8, 2018, the kids of Paradise went to school to flee those schools later and watch helplessly as their schools (most of them) were destroyed by fire.

Since the fires, kids have been living in shelters or with family and friends and have not been in school. Butte County Office of Education has been working to find placement for the kids of paradise. The immediate plan of action to get kids back in the classroom involves some very innovative and practical short term solutions. Elementary school kids will have the option of returning to classrooms with their classmates and teachers in the cities of Chico, Durham, and Oroville, who are hosting the kids and teachers in their schools. Middle School and High School students are redirected to a hybrid learning model, which includes mostly online instruction with meetings. Charter schools such as Achieve Charter and Core Butte in Paradise will operate out of churches and other buildings in Chico.  

We certainly wish these students the best during these times of uncertainty. These plans to re-establish educational opportunities are a great starting point to help the students of Paradise return to a sense of normalcy.

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Leticia Chavez-Garcia

Leticia Chavez-Garcia

Leticia Chavez-Garcia is a Mother, Grandmother, former Middle School Teacher, former Member of a School Board of Education and an Education Advocate for hundreds of parents and students in the Inland Empire. Having become a mother at 15, Leticia knows what it’s like to be a single mother trying to navigate the education system. Leticia received her Bachelor of Science Degree in Political Science and Public Administration from California Baptist University and a Masters’ Degree in Education Technology from Cal State Fullerton in her 30’s. Leticia has used her knowledge and experience to help hundreds of families as an Education Advocate in the Inland Empire and currently works as an Education Specialist.

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