With the local K-12 district and Chico State University starting up again, we’ve complied a package of “back-to-school” stories that speak to change.

A new school year signals change—and not just for the individual students lacing up their new sneakers and hoisting overloaded backpacks onto their shoulders.

There are plenty of changes afoot in local schools, and the Chico News & Review has put together a package of stories to tell you about some of them.

Our centerpiece story is about a controversial idea the K-12 district is considering: moving sixth-graders to junior high campuses to create “middle schools.” Is it a bold educational move that’s long overdue, or would it thrust children into a social environment for which they’re not yet ready?

Also new this year in the Chico Unified School District is dogs— drug-sniffing dogs, that is. The school board is contracting with a firm to sniff out high schools 60 times a year, attempting to balance safety concerns with students’ civil liberties.

We also examine the California State University system’s bait-and-switch when it comes to how and when students may transfer in from community colleges. And Chico State University is out in front as the entire CSU moves toward environmentally friendly “green” buildings.

Don’t worry: You won’t be tested on these stories, and they definitely won’t go down on your permanent record.

Middle management
Shuffling sixth-graders to junior highs is the next big controversy in the CUSD

Bait and switch
System changes rules on ‘guaranteed’ admission to CSUs

The narc wore fur
CUSD hires drug-sniffing dog to search campuses

Going green
Chico State University leads energy-minded CSU with first certified ‘green’ building