By Kate Raddatz

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Back to school ads appeared in Sunday’s papers, as many parents across Minnesota don’t actually know if their students will go “back to school” in person this fall.

“We’re prepping her to start school, whatever that looks like,” Erin Zielinski, from Minneapolis, said.

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Zielinski and her neighbors have been discussing how to make distance learning easier for their four kindergarteners on the block, if that model is the decision for the school year.

“The mom down the block kind of said ‘what if we rotated,'” she said.

Zielinski says the “pod” home-schooling method would allow the kids to minimize their exposure while still getting social interaction with other kids, and allow parents to get more work done at home when it’s not their turn to teach. Zielinski said her husband even threw out the idea of handling field trips if they could do outdoor activities.

“We’re even going to do a block-wide recess from 11 to 12 where all the kids are outside playing,” she said.

Zielinski said she realized she was lucky in her situation to have the option.

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Others, like Amy Gutz of Forest Lake, have already started back to school shopping. She said she’d like to see students go back to class.

“I looked at the school website and I found a link that just said class lists so I thought it was current,” Gutz said. “It was last year’s list so I took off of that.”

Other parents told WCCO they had switched their child to a private school they already know will start in-person learning in the fall.

Still, some parents are more cautious and want to hear the full plan before they make a decision.

“I have him [son] enrolled technically but until I hear what’s going on I don’t know,” Jaylyn Carr, from Richfield, said.

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Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz will announce the decision for the 2020-2021 academic school year on Thursday.

Kate Raddatz