Our hearts are with the entire community of Paradise and
surrounding areas affected by the Camp Fire, how you can help
On November 8,
the Camp Fire decimated the town of Paradise and
neighboring communities, claiming at least 88 lives and consuming more than
10,000 buildings, according to Cal Fire. The wildfire, the deadliest in
California history, either
destroyed or damaged all nine campuses in Paradise Unified along with
six charter schools.
Michelle John, Paradise
Unified School District Superintendent and many others have been working hard
since to reunite students with their teachers and classmates. They’ve secured
three elementary schools that will house K-5 students through the end of the
school year, while middle and high school students will be taught via a
distance learning program until they return to school after the holiday break
and the district can find suitable buildings to hold classes.
Uncertain how many will return for
classes, as more than 5,000 families lost their homes in the Camp Fire. The 700
district employees are excited to welcome them back and begin the healing
have been in contact with nearly all of the district’s 3,500 students, and none
have been identified as among those who perished in the fire, nor were any
The facilities will be clean, safe, staffed with
experts in trauma and social-emotional support for both students and staff, and
additional supports as needed. Staff have received the first in a series of workshops
focusing on healthy ways to cope with the losses they and their students have
suffered. They also received training in trauma-informed approaches to teaching
and interacting with students. In addition to this training, staff will have
the option to meet with mental health experts in small groups over the next few
days for counseling on their own situations.
Department of Education officials are hoping that on Wednesday Gov. Jerry Brown
will sign the first in a series of executive orders aimed at helping schools
rebuild and recover from the fires. The order will include waivers of state
requirements regarding average daily attendance, class sizes and physical
education classes. The executive order will also waive some facilities
requirements so classes can be taught in places like churches and shopping
state officials are working with the federal government to guarantee FEMA
funding for the rebuilding of schools and to ensure that Congress reauthorizes
a grant program that provided $14 million to schools following the Tubbs Fire.
so much more is still needed as the community rebuilds.
could write an encouraging note to those who lost their home and/or are
displaced. They will post them up on their Butte
Schools WALL to share with the community and online!
Please also consider donations to buy gas cards, gift cards, and
bus passes. Tax-deductible donations to the Butte County Schools Fire Relief Fund are specifically for educational purposes for schools,
students, and staff.
Note cards are available at Ridder Park’s front reception desk,
Human Resources and the cafeteria. Contact Lisa Ketchum at
408-453-6574 if you’d like some ponied to your site.
Forward all encouraging cards, gift cards and donations to Lisa Ketchum in Human
Resources, m/c 264. We’ll send everything to Butte County Office of Education for distribution to the
They appreciate all the support, kindness and help since this tragedy