Watertown schools detail reopening plans

Watertown schools detail reopening plans

WATERTOWN, N.Y. (WWNY) - The ‘new normal’ will be very different for Watertown children going to school this fall.

The school district has released details of its plans to reopen schools, and keep students safe.

As explained by school officials Tuesday, those plans start at the bus stop, where students can stand with their family members but must keep a six foot distance from all other students.

When they get on the bus, there will be stickers guiding students to where they can and can’t sit.

“I think we are ready to go. I am excited for school to get back in session and hopefully the students are too,” said Charmaine Regelman, a bus driver for the district.

Then, at school, students will also get off the bus one family at a time, keeping that six foot distance between students.

As students step onto school property, they will again keep six feet of distance walking into the building as they transition to their classroom.

District Superintendent Patti LaBarr said parents and students need to understand their role in the plans.

“It’s a new normal. Parents aren’t sure what it looks like, students don’t know what it looks like. And, it’s good for our students to know that you know when they come to school, we have safety protocols in place,” she said.

“Really, it’s really important for them to know what their job is going to be throughout this process as well.”

When they enter the classroom, students will sit at every other desk and all students will have assigned seats.

This is the “hybrid” model so not all students will be present the same day. The students who are working remotely will fill the empty desks on the days they return to school.

Labarr said the hybrid plan will be a challenge but they are prepared to deliver it when school reopens.

“So there is going to be a bigger act to balance, if you will, but we have done some professional development over the summer, we will continue to train our staff and do professional development and work with our families because we have to balance that,” she said.

LaBarr says the district will be hosting another community meeting Wednesday night at 7 pm on their website to discuss more safety reopening plans.

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