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Watertown family looks forward to returning to classroom full time

Published: Apr. 15, 2021 at 8:10 AM EDT
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WATERTOWN, N.Y. (WWNY) - Some Watertown City School District students will return to full-time classroom learning next month and it’s a change one family is looking forward to.

“I was beyond excited,” Colleen Murphy said.

That was her reaction when she heard the news that Watertown’s K-6 grade hybrid students will be able to come back to the classroom five days a week beginning May 6.

“I’m excited for them to go back,” she said. “They need to be in school.”

School is actually where Murphy works. She’s a counselor in the district, but she wears another hat, too.

“I’m not just a high school counselor,” she said. “I’m a mom to Watertown city school district students.”

Three students: a fifth grader, a fourth grader, and a second grader who says it’s tough doing schoolwork from home.

“It’s kind of hard because it’s districting when I’m at home,” Evan Murphy said

Older brother Hayden is on the fence. He’s liked being home but says there are perks to being in the classroom.

“Just getting more education from it,” he said, “like from the teachers, not from the Chromebook.”

And fourth grader Anthony is excited to see familiar faces.

“Seeing my friends and just being there and just being happy,” he said.

This new plan doesn’t bring everyone back to school, just K-6.

Grades 7-12 will stick with their current schedules through the end of the school year.

“Students who opted to go full remote, will continue learning from home as well,” district superintendent Patti LaBarr said. “When you look at students in a 7-12 setting, and there schedules, it’s very difficult to keep kids in the same classroom when their schedules are all so very different.”

The superintendent says plans could change if the COVID-19 infection rate goes up.

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