Students in some districts head back to the classroom

ATTLEBORO, Mass. (WLNE) – It’s the first day back to school for four districts in Southern New England. Students in Cumberland, Coventry, Attleboro, and Somerset are kicking off the school year after a summer of rising COVID-19 cases and uncertainty for what the year will look like.

Cumberland 6th graders Ryleigh Dupuis and Johanna Lacey are back in-person after a year of home schooling.

“It was hard. It was really hard some days turning in assignments and stuff and not being able to see our teachers in person,” the 6th graders said.

For many, entering a new grade is scary to begin with, but after a year of learning from home or hybrid models, parents like Maria Acevedo say it was tough to get them on the bus.

“He was nervous. He said, mom, I don’t want to go!” Acevedo said. “But, he has to go.”

Part of those nerves stem from the coronavirus and rising cases of the Delta variant. All schools are now requiring masks. Some students are used to it, but others say it’s a pain.

“It is kind of hard for them with asthma,” Acevedo said. “I deal with the school and try to get them mask breaks that way they don’t suffocate themselves.”

Over in Attleboro, High School Principal Bill Runey is hoping this year goes better than the last when the school made national news after a student attended the first day of in-person classes after testing positive for COVID-19 days prior.

“My hope this year is that everybody remains safe,” Principal Runey said. “Obviously the Delta variant is something we are very concerned about, which is why I am thankful we’re starting with some more structure with masks.”

Principal Runey says so far, the day went off without a hitch. There were no problems with masking or social distancing. Due to a rigorous pool testing program, this year won’t be as strict.

“Last year we had to use one-way hallways, grab and go lunches, no cafeteria set-ups, no dances,” Principal Runey said. “Not that we necessarily want to return to normal because normal didn’t work with everyone, but it’s more traditional.”

Stick with ABC 6 News for continuing coverage of back to school.

Categories: Attleboro, Back to School, Coronavirus, Massachusetts, News, Our Schools, Rhode Island