SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — With the Camp Fire fully contained, school officials from Paradise and Sacramento are now working together to help the thousands of students who lost their homes and schools in the catastrophic fire.
“The kids that lost everything are by federal law homeless. And parents can choose the school they want to go to,” said Butte County Superintendent Tim Taylor.
Taylor says next week 32,000 students are expected to return to portable classes set up in the Chico area.
While he can’t be certain of how many students will show up, he says he’ll now be able to provide resources to help them adjust. Those resources are all thanks to a new partnership with Sacramento County School superintendent David Gordon.
“They’re not Butte County’s young people they’re our young people,” said Gordon.
Districts from Elk Grove to Folsom Cordova are joining the effort, hoping to connect students through assemblies, visits, phone calls, Skype, or email and pen pal correspondences.
“Students are more successful when they know someone truly cares about them. That means tending to their emotional needs is critical,” said Folsom Cordova Superintendent Sarah Koligian.
That’s why officials are also deploying up to 500 trauma counselors to be on call for the county, and to train teachers on how to help traumatized students cope.
“We’re gonna have a new thing we’re calling ‘the 3 R’s.’ We’re restoring recover(ing) and we’re going to rebuild,” said Taylor.
Just yesterday, Paradise High School’s basketball teams played their first games since the fire. Educators will be cheering them on for a while, and even getting their requests out to the other major players, such as Metallica.
“They’ve already donated $50,000 and this morning I’ve had students ask me, ‘can we get Metallica tickets… to get to some normalcy,’” said Taylor.