‘Better to be proactive than reactive:’ Watertown City Schools release remote learning plan

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WATERTOWN, N.Y. (WWTI) — Schools in the North Country are shifting their focus as COVID-19 cases surge in the region. 

Although several have been able to keep their doors open due to precautions and safety measures, many are preparing for the potential to pivot to remote learning. 

Watertown City School District Superintendent Patti LaBarr spoke just before the Thanksgiving holiday, as the District prepares to release their remote plan to the community. LaBarr’s focus is on a proactive approach. 

“It’s better to be proactive than reactive and we’ve had the plan, and at this point, because the numbers are going up, it’s time we share this plan with the community that in the event we have to do this, here is the plan,” shared LaBarr. “So everyone understands. Because back in March we didn’t have that opportunity.”

To date, the Watertown City School District has confirmed several COVID-19 cases both among staff and students, but has remained opened. LaBarr stated that this is due to the lack of community spread within the District buildings.

However, if community spread did occur, the District could be forced to shut down.

Watertown’s remote plan would require all kindergarten through sixth graders to attend a full day of school online from home. Teachers would incorporate breaks for exercise, recess and lunch each day. Seventh through twelfth graders would follow their original schedules and attend separate zooms for each class. BOCES and students in special education classe would also be required to learn from home. 

The full plan is featured below:

Although there is no true threshold for the District to close their doors, LaBarr shared that at any given time they could be required to shift to remote learning. 

Watch the full interview with Watertown City School District Patricia LaBarr above.

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