Foothill and mountain schools set to reopen Tuesday

Tuesday, March 7, 2023
Foothill and mountain schools set to reopen Tuesday after storms
As conditions improve in the mountains, most districts plan to resume school Tuesday.

MADERA COUNTY, Calif. (KFSN) -- As conditions improve in the mountains, most districts plan to resume school Tuesday, including Bass Lake School District, Chawanakee Unified School District and Yosemite Unified School District.

Bass Lake Unified will have a two-hour delay for Oakhurst Elementary, Oak Creek Intermediate, Wasuma, and Fresno Flats.

For Yosemite Unified, Yosemite High, the Educational Options Program and Raymond-Granite will also be on a two-hour delay.

For the first time in weeks, class was in session at River Gold Elementary School in Coarsegold Monday--the YUSD's lowest elevation school. District officials say 90% of kids are back in class.

"They love their teachers. They were excited to come back today. They were ready to be done with me," said Celina Busbee, mother of two students. She says it's been a tough time for her and fellow parents who had to make alternate plans for their kids while the campus was closed because of the impacts of extreme winter weather.

"It's pretty hard last minute, especially when you need childcare for an entire week. Luckily I can stay home," she said.

Because feet of snowfall followed Yosemite Unified School District's annual ski week winter break, February 17 was the last time kids were on campus. With all the days of missed instruction, some parents wondered if the time need to be made up at the end of the school year.

"However, when you have emergency situations like this, you can apply for a waiver, which is what we will do. And by applying for that waiver, we will not need to extend the school year or the school hours," YUSD Superintendent Brian Beck.

YUSD Teacher Anthony Misner has been with the district for over 30 years and has never seen a weather disruption like this.

"This is one of the worst storm systems I have ever experienced. We have a lot of our teachers that are landlocked at home," he said. "I personally was out of power for over five days running on a generator."

The facilities crew on Yosemite High's campus was quick to clean up downed trees. The power was restored last week. But still, there was the complication of getting staff and kids to the camps.

"Just getting people here. Getting the buses through on the icy roads," said Yosemite High Principal Stephanie Osowski.

Yosemite High School is preparing to open back up Tuesday.

"They are all digging out today, so the message has been, 'we are going to be here tomorrow, so do what you can to dig out,'" said Osowski.

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