Farmington Public Schools started classes on Wednesday through a hybrid learning model. The district is splitting students into groups and will have group A in school for one week, while group B learns from home. Then they’ll switch.
Students who spoke with NBC Connecticut are excited to get back into the classroom.
“Very nervous. I think it’ll just be crazy because it’s a new school and I’ve barely been in it. But I’m going to have to wear the mask and keep my distance from everyone and keep with the one-way hallways we have,” said Cecilia Kolenich, a freshman at Farmington High School.
“The online school was a bit difficult and some of my friends were feeling the same thing because we like to interact with our teachers but we couldn’t really do that online,” said Aidan Cooke, a sophomore at Farmington High School.
Kolenich said her parents were concerned about sending her back to school because of the COVID pandemic, but ultimately decided it would be best.
“My mom was very nervous to send me back but my dad was just like, 'As long as you’re safe, as long as you’re paying attention to what the teachers are telling you to do, you should be fine,'” Kolenich said.
Other parents, like Steve DiLella, are hopeful the hybrid learning model will help mitigate risk.
“I think we’re a little excited to get back into the normal flow of things, but obviously still a little concerned with COVID out there, not really sure how it’s going to go, so it’s a learning experience for all of us,” said DiLella.
One of the biggest challenges he’s heard from parents is juggling childcare when the students are learning at home.
“We have friends who have both parents who work so they still don’t know who’s going to be with them. Sometimes grandparents and is that creating an additional risk? We’re just very fortunate that doesn’t apply to us,” DiLella said.
Connecticut’s Office of Early Childhood is working to expand daycare capacity and allow summer camps to operate into the school year. The state also has programs to help low income families. Call 211 for information.