By John Lauritsen

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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Whether they admit it or not, there are a lot of kids missing school right now. Parent-Teacher Organization member Ann Frischmann knows this firsthand.

“Kids who every day would be like, ‘I don’t want to go to school,’ now they’re like, ‘Why can’t we go to school?’” Frischmann said.

It’s a tough lesson to learn for any kid, which is why the staff and PTO members at Victoria Elementary School decided to do something about it. Ashley Erickson is a PTO member.

“I think we’ve got 35 teachers that showed up on their spring break to show up for the kids,” Erickson said.

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And show up they did. It was teachers on parade. For miles, they weaved through neighborhoods where kids, signs and sidewalk chalk greeted them. They drove by families practicing social distancing as they get ready for distance learning.

(credit: CBS)

It’s the closest students will get to their teachers for several weeks. So for Thursday, grades and classwork don’t matter nearly as much as seeing a smiling, familiar face. One of those familiar faces was administrative dean Peter Morse.

“Every morning we are at the door greeting kids as they walk in. It’s just another way to continue doing that. Just doing that by bringing our greeting to their home,” Morse said.

Parent Tracy Rothstein says the experience has boosted her already-strong appreciation for teachers.

“We miss them very much, and none of us are looking forward to being our own home-school parents right now,” Rothstein said.

Fellow parent Krista Skrtic seconds that sentiment.

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“I know the teachers work their butts off. I think I’ll have a brand-new appreciation for what teachers do every, single day,” Skrtic said.

Until they meet again, they will drive away with optimism. And for that, the entire school gets an “A.”

“The kids are the reason we do this. The reason we show up every morning,” Morse said.

Like many Minnesota schools, teachers at Victoria Elementary told WCCO they are hoping everyone can return to the classroom in May.

John Lauritsen