Durham students return to classroom for 1st time in a year

It was a chilly start to the day in Durham, but what happened at at least one elementary school will warm your heart.

Video Transcript

STACY RAMOS: I'm feeling pretty confident about tomorrow.

TIM PULLIAM: We found Stacy Ramos picking up her daughter, Cristina, this afternoon. She was breathing a sigh of relief.

STACY RAMOS: It's a little overwhelming this morning when I bought my daughter. It was very well organized, but it was still a little overwhelming not knowing how the day was going to progress, if she was going to be OK.

TIM PULLIAM: Our cameras captured Pearsontown Elementary students social distancing and sanitizing, up to 14 students per class. Administrators call it the bubble because it's also where they eat breakfast, lunch, and study.

For Stacy's daughter, the most challenging part of her day navigating, playtime during a pandemic.

How was school today?

- It was good. Except when we went outside at recess, me and my friend, we were going to go on the equipment but one of the teachers kept saying, "You can't go on the equipment," so we just had to walk around and we couldn't go on the swing, and now my feet hurt.

TIM PULLIAM: Today was also an adjustment for seven-year-old Joshua Miguen.

Was it different from last year?

JOSHUA MIGUEN: Yes.

TIM PULLIAM: How so?

JOSHUA MIGUEN: Because there were no masks on the first day, and also because we had masks on.

TIM PULLIAM: And how are teachers doing?

BRITTANY NOVAK: I'm exhausted and it's only 2:05.

TIM PULLIAM: It's a busy day for first grade teacher Brittany Novak, pivoting from virtual to in-person learning. In addition to teaching, she's also putting students at ease about being back in a classroom.

BRITTANY NOVAK: Their focus has honestly been a little bit better. I can say that. Just this morning and engaging and participating in discussions, they've definitely been a lot more open and a lot more focused.

TIM PULLIAM: And hopefully soon a return to normalcy.

In Durham, Tim Pulliam, ABC 11 Eyewitness News.