PUSD and Butte County Office of Education Working to Secure Temporary SitesButte County, CA- Thousands of students effected by the catastrophic Camp Fire will have temporary school housing when they return to school on December 3. The Paradise Unified School District (PUSD) and the Butte County Office of Education (BCOE) made the joint announcement. Eight out of nine PUSD schools and most of the district’s infrastructure were damaged or destroyed by the fire. In addition, four or the district’s five charter schools also were damaged or destroyed. For the last week, the number one priority for Butte County education leaders has been to secure facilities within Butte County that will allow PUSD students to reunite in the classroom with their PUSD teachers. “Through all of this, you have to understand that although our schools were destroyed our school district was not,” said PUSD Superintendent Michelle John.
“We’re still here and we are working hard to welcome our students and staff back as soon as possible.”
The plan is as follows:
- PUSD has solidified locations for elementary students (TK-6th) and will be able to reunite them with their teachers on December 3rd. Transportation is included.
- The district is close to securing middle and high school space and is still weighing several options for suitable sites.
- Grades 6-12 will be on an independent study model allowing students to meet with PUSD teachers until the start of the second semester in January while the district works to secure the appropriate facilities.
“Even though our sites might have to be in different places, we are still Paradise Unified,” John said.“If we can’t get our students with all of their classmates and with their teachers, we at least want them enrolled in school where they are now so there’s no break in their education,” said Butte County Superintendent of Schools Tim Taylor. Taylor also said Butte County educators are lining up well established disaster and trauma experts from throughout the state to work with students. Those experts will determine the unique needs of every child whose home might have been destroyed or sustained damage following the wildfire and help connect children to supportive resources.