One great way to deal with the heat is to kayak for a while. Today we went down to the Forebay, an extension of Lake Oriville and did it. We did not take cameras because they could easily fall in the water. Imagine then a kayak amble along a shore with trees and sbrubs. Black phoebes flew out from branches to grab flying bugs and returned to their perches. Canada geese in large groups stuck their heads in the water and their tails in the air, making me think of the old Banana Slug String Band song, “Butts Up!” Blue mayflies drifted over the water and kildeer yelled “KILDEE!” from the shore. It was easily ten degrees cooler out on the water, probably more… more refreshing than a cold beer!

We went to an interesting forum on education in Butte County last night. The speaker largely compared schools in Chico with those in Oroville, a nearby town. Chico schools are segregated by class and race because people are generally expected to attend a school that is defined as being part of their community. Of course schools in more affluent neighborhoods wind up with more parental involvement (some have free time) and donations.

Charter schools do not have this requirement, but it’s hard for low income parents to get their kids up and across town, neighborhood schools are easier for them. So charter schools generally wind up being white and affluent. One exception is Rosedale, the Spanish/English Immersion school. Its population is largely Hispanic, but there are enough affluent white kids whose parents want them to be bilingual that it is not considered an impoverished school.

One other thing about Chico though is in terms of discipline it focuses more on restorative justice than on suspensions, expulsions, and other punishments. Also, experienced teachers are spread throughout the district, and are not only claimed by affluent schools. Chico  does try to be a forward looking district, but segregation by neighborhood is an issue.

Oroville is another story. It is a community of relatively affluent people surrounded by poor communities, The power that be’s nervousness here contributes to a big emphasis on punishment, suspension, etc. For some reason the city has several school districts, whereas CHico only has one. Each district in Oroville has its own administrators. The money that goes to their salaries is a big drain on resources, and the divisions restrict coordination among different parts of the city. This is one issue Chico does not have.

The proportion of children who have some kind of trauma (neglect, some form of abuse, etc.) is fairly high in Butte County. There is also a fairly amount of homelessness, and drug abuse. The issues are many. Being an educator here will be a challenge.


About pelicanguy6

I'm an environmental educator and writer currently based in Oakland, California. I plan to include a hiking/nature journal on this blog, along with articles on environmental education, travel articles, poetry, and spontaneous thoughts. I am a passionate hiker and camper and a world traveler. I really enjoy cooking vegetarian feasts, and specialize in veggie German meals for Oktoberfest.
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