Waterbury Students Return to In-Person Learning for the First Time Since November

“I’m really excited because they really don’t have the interaction with other children. It’s been a long year for him and he really misses his teacher.," said Dawn Netale. Her grandson is in 4th grade.

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Students in Waterbury are returning to the classroom on Thursday for the first time since Nov. 16. The district planned to bring students back on Jan. 19, but pushed it back to Feb. 1. Then the snowstorm delayed it another three days until Feb. 4.

“I feel good, I feel confident. I feel like they need to socialize,” said Madeleine Garcia, who has a son in third grade.

Garcia went on to say that she is looking forward to a return to normalcy for her son. He’s been home learning remotely along with the thousands of other students in the district.

“It was a struggle with the learning, keeping them focused. It’s hard. So I think they need the structure. I think they need to be in this environment. It’s just better for them,” Garcia said.

Dawn Netale can relate. Her grandson is in fourth grade.

“Four hours of my day, every day at the kitchen table while he’s in class and it’s been trying. But his education is the most important thing to me and my daughter so that’s what we’re working on,” Netale said.

Netale and her daughter are both worried about his exposure to COVID-19 but feel that returning to school is the best decision for him.

“Ms. Menzie and Driggs have been phenomenal the last time about keeping these kids safe so I have full confidence that they will continue to do so,” Netale said.

For Brandon Dawson, a seventh-grader, remote learning has been distracting at home, so he’s most looking forward to “probably getting my grades up more than they already are, getting above average,” said Dawson.

Dawson went on to say that he feels prepared to board the bus and go into the school buildings.

“I have hand sanitizer in my pocket. Got my mask, got an extra one. And hopefully I can prevent getting corona,” said Dawson.

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