GREEN BAY AREA REGIONAL NEWS: Brown County

Students return to St. Norbert College in De Pere and school is ready to deal with COVID-19

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DE PERE, Wis. (WFRV) A busy day at St. Norbert College as first-year students move in for what they hope will be a full year of in-person classes. As Kris Schuller tells us the school is doing all it can to keep COVID-19 off campus.

On the campus of St. Norbert College the class of 2024 moves into the dorms.

“Anxious, nervous, everything in between,” said one mother.

But this year along with the anxiety of sending a child off to college – is the reality of doing that during the ongoing pandemic.

“It’s kind of nerve racking,” said Carrie Hawley, dropping off her daughter. “Hopefully you know, everything is going to be safe here.”

These students are coming to a campus that closed in March and moved to virtual learning only because of the coronavirus. But President Brian Bruess says he was committed to getting the schools 2,000 students back on campus and in the classroom.

“They are really eager to be together, to be in-person instruction and to be living on campus,” said Bruess.

The college spent the summer putting together their Return to Campus plan. And St. Norbert’s president is confident his students will follow the protocols.

“We know our plan is solid, it is good, it is based on a good understanding of science,” said Bruess.

The plan is extensive; required face coverings, physical distancing, enhanced cleaning measure, even an app for self-monitoring for covid symptoms.

“I’m confident that they have a good process, they have good ideas, they have all the right things in place,” said another parent..

“As long as you follow the guidelines, keeping yourself safe and everyone else, then we should have a blast,” said Katie Hawley, an incoming freshman.

“We’ve gone to great lengths to do this safely, to reconvene and deliver on our promise to families,” Bruess said.

A promise to keep their sons and daughters safe while away – a return to campus plan which this mother hopes everyone supports.

“Let’s make it happen together so all these kids can have a successful school year.”

Enrollment at St. Norbert this year sits at roughly 2,000 students. Bruess says 95 percent of them are taking in-person classes.

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