Watertown City School District looks ahead while addressing rising COVID-19 concerns


WATERTOWN, N.Y. (WWTI) — With coronavirus concerns on the rise, schools in the North Country have been forced to alter their education plans.

As planning for the future seeming harder than ever, larger districts are looking to move forward by examining the present.

Watertown City School District superintendent Patricia labarr reflected on how the district is responding to current COVID-19 case rises.

Superintendent LaBarr touched on how the District recently confirmed their first staff member testing positive for the coronavirus, which led to over 40 individuals put in quarantine.

However, she stated that these instances are only providing lessons on how districts of similar size can move forward.

Superintendent LaBarr shared that the district is aiming to bring hybrid students back full time following December holidays. This could include possibly expanding classrooms into cafeterias or other non-utilized rooms to compensate for social distancing. 

While addressing concerns, LaBarr also turned some questions over to WCSD’s COVID-19 Coordinator Tina Lane, who discussed changes to COVID-19 educations protocols and common questions she’s been receiving.

But, LaBarr emphasized that these goals can only be met through community-wide teamwork.

“We can’t do it alone,” stated LaBarr. “When you think about, we’re approaching flu season right now. We’re looking at it around the world and in this country and we’re seeing the spikes in positive cases. We’re taking a look at what we’re doing as a District, and one of the things that I would really say is that our students and our staff that are in person have done a commendable job of wearing masks and social distancing. Everybody needs to focus in on small wins.”

Watch the full interview with Watertown City School District Superintendent Patricia LaBarr in the video at the top of the story.


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