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Back-to-school for Broome County brings energy, pandemic-related changes and some worry

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BROOME COUNTY (WBNG) -- As schools in Broome County headed back to school Monday, the new year brought excitement, many pandemic-related changes and some worry.

Teachers and students told 12 News they are thrilled to be back in school and reunited with their students and peers. Some children said they haven't seen their classmates since back in March. One child expressed concern over the possibility of getting sick.

With the new year, there are changes happening inside and outside of the classroom including wearing masks, social distancing, remote learning and small group snack time.

And as staff have been anticipating challenges for months, Johnson City eighth grade teacher Jackie Townsend said now, "I think our main worry as teachers is just making sure our students feel connected to us and making sure that they feel excited to be there, excited to jump on the computer when they're remote and just welcomed and safe because it was such a crazy time, so I think making sure that they feel comfortable and confident and happy is our biggest, my biggest worry."

Teachers at both Union-Endicott and Johnson City said the day went relatively smoothly besides a couple of adjustments with students working remotely. They said students knew what rules to expect and were happy to follow along with new guidelines to keep everyone safe.

Check out a slideshow of back-to-school photos from families in our area here.

Julia Gorman

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