PEABODY– Superintendent Josh Vadala is pleased to share that Peabody’s public elementary schools successfully returned to fully in-person learning on Monday.
Peabody’s elementary schools are the first in a phased transition to fully in-person learning district wide. Peabody Public Schools’ elementary schools include Brown Elementary, Burke Elementary, Carroll Elementary, Center Elementary, McCarthy Elementary, South Elementary, Welch Elementary and West Elementary Schools.
“Today is the day we have been waiting for and working towards,” said Lauren King on Monday, Principal of the Brown Elementary School. “Safety continues to be our priority. We will remain diligent to all the mitigating strategies we implemented, but having all our in person students back together again, where they belong, makes us feel whole for the first time in over a year. The energy is contagious. I am not sure who was the most excited: the staff, the students, or the families.”
“It feels great. I love seeing all their faces in person,” said Tricia Hosman, a first grade teacher at the Center School. “We got so much more accomplished today.”
“Students were bubbling with excitement that they were back to school together,” said Nicole Zaffini a first grade teacher at Burke Elementary.
Many of the schools decorated their halls, and had a handful of special visitors including Sammy the Bulldog, Peabody Police Chief Thomas Griffin and McGruff the Crime Dog.
“Today was a wonderful day,” said Furnell McGrath, a second grade teacher at the Carroll School. “Seeing the students interact with classmates that they have not seen in person in over a year was an amazing experience. These kids definitely have missed learning alongside one another.”
Students and staff will continue to follow safety measures in order to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. This includes wearing masks or face coverings, practicing social distancing, and cleaning and sanitizing high touch surfaces throughout the school day.
“It feels good to be back in school full time, because instead of sitting on a computer I get to see everyone face to face normally, with masks,” said Olivia Guarino, a fifth grade student at Brown Elementary.
“It was amazing,” said Liz Ofilos, a first grade teacher at the Brown Elementary School. “Thrilled to have everybody back! It feels like our family is back together again.”
Peabody’s middle and high schools will return to fully in-person learning on Wednesday, April 7. Students and families who wished to continue to pursue fully remote learning were also given the option to do so.