Before they return to “normal” school, Watertown Middle School students look back (and ahead)

Watertown Middle School will welcome back students full time after more than a year beginning Monday, April 12


Splash photo Naomi Baker

For the first time in more than a year, Watertown Middle School will have students back full time beginning April 12, 2021.

Mara Otiato and Adrian Schick

Before returning to “normal” school on April 12, 2021, students at Watertown Middle School and other schools were asked to share their best and worst experiences during the past year. Students were also asked what they are looking forward to most in the approaching return of full-time school. Here are some of their responses:

Question: “The BEST thing about the last year was …”

Ava, seventh grade, Watertown Middle School — “The best thing that happened this year was being able to go in to school for hybrid. And the vaccine coming out.”

Eddie, seventh grade, WMS — “How the community was very strong during the COVID-19 times.”

Ella, seventh grade, WMS — “There was no best part. I literally didn’t like anything.”

Emmanuel, seventh grade, WMS — “You could sit next to your friends without having to wear masks and staying 6 feet apart.”

Gabriel, seventh grade, WMS — “That it was fun and easy.”

Mayck, seventh grade, WMS — “When I started going to school because I was tired of being home, and I would rather be home now.”

Tage, seventh grade, WMS — “Not being in school.”

Tyler, seventh grade, WMS — “Going in person and seeing my friends.”

Sarah, seventh grade, WMS — “The best thing about last year was that we got a two-week break because of COVID.”

Connor, seventh grade, WMS — “Not having to leave my house.”

 Question: “The WORST thing about the last year was …”

Ava, eighth grade, WMS — “This year has been tough for me and us all. As a social person, it’s been so hard feeling isolated from my friends and society.”

Ella (seventh grade, WMS): “They had a bad system for remote learning and it was really tough.”

Kelvin (seventh grade, WMS) — “I moved three schools in a row. And I was inside my house for three months not going anywhere. Caused by COVID-19.”

Landon (ninth grade, Watertown High) — “Just seeing how a community of people reacted to the pandemic, and seeing how communities just fell apart. Even with a more positive outcome in the end, it’s hard to see such a fall.”

Ashley (10th grade, WHS) — “How quickly school ended and how clueless everyone was to what was really gonna happen and not being able to see friends. Everyone thought two weeks was early spring break. Disappointing.”

Gabe (graduate, WHS) — “People got sick and died, quarantining made people realize they took things for granted, and then it was too late “

Eva (12th grade, WHS) — “Losing the things we had such as our freedom, and now having a lot of restrictions, and also being alone.”

Naomi (ninth grade, WHS) — “Probably not seeing people from quarantining and wearing masks. And especially not being able to go in big crowds and see concerts, which I was really looking forward to.”

Amanda (12th grade, Whitman-Hanson Regional High): “The worst to me was kinda how my grandfather didn’t get to live the last year of his life to the fullest, if you know what I mean, obviously. Not like he was going to do anything extravagant or anything. But maybe he could have gone to the boat or maybe went to Florida with his sisters.”

Question: “What am I looking forward to MOST (or LEAST) about everyone returning full time to WMS?”

Connor (seventh grade, WMS) — “I’m looking forward to seeing my friends, but I’m not looking forward to waking up earlier to get to class.”

Ava (seventh grade, WMS) — “What I’m looking forward to when I go back to school is being able to see all my friends every day and not having to sit at home.”

Kelvin (seventh grade,  WMS) — “I am looking forward the most about returning to WMS is to ask teacher questions at any time.”

Pamela (sixth grade, WMS) — “What I’m looking forward to most is hoping to see all my friends, What I’m looking forward the least is that everyone will be back at school and I act shy around everyone.”

–April 8, 2021–