MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Gov. Tim Walz is expected to announce a decision about what’s going to happen about the 2020-2021 school year before the end of the month.
Walz has said there are three scenarios being considered here in Minnesota: students returning to in person learning, distance-only learning, or a hybrid model. As they wait, educators are speaking out about how they’re feeling about the prospect of going back to the classroom.
Nicole Mittelstaedt, a Spanish teacher in Hopkins, says she misses seeing her students but feels there are too many risks to return to school five days a week.
“We’re all just nervous of what it’s going to loo like the Fall is going to look like,” she said. “We want to be in the classroom obviously but we also want to be safe and want to keep our students safe.”
Another teacher sent WCCO this question about the idea of returning to school: “Where is the district going to find a substitute teacher who will work in a classroom full of exposed, possibly infected students for substitute pay?”
Education Minnesota Vice President Bernie Burnham says the issue is that all three scenarios proposed by the state have downfalls. Burnham says getting children back to the classroom will require thinking about those downfalls.
“Parents are worried their children will suffer and the education gap in the state will get worse if it’s distance learning,” Burnham said.
Minnesota says ultimately the decision on fall school will likely be made by state health officials. A decision is expected by July 27.
The American Federation of Teachers released a detailed plan on how to reopen schools, with five key pillars. To learn more, click here.