By Kate Raddatz

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Eastview High School posted a photo on Facebook Monday of a staff meeting that was socially distant, as educators get ready to head back to the classroom

“You can plan but you can’t plan everything,” early childhood specialist Michelle Martindale said.  “So you’re trusting those teachers to take care of your child to make the best decisions while they’re there.”

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Martindale is a teacher at McKinley Early Childhood center in Faribault. She’s busy getting her classroom ready, including sanitizing stations and her own protective gear.

“What are we doing to protect our students, what are we doing to protect ourselves, and what can we do to make the families happy and stay healthy,” fourth grade teacher Shannon Amsler said.

Amsler said in previous years, her classroom at St. Stephen’s Catholic in Anoka had desks grouped together in pods. This year they’ll be spaced apart and all facing forward. Younger classrooms, she said, will have plexiglass dividers to have more face-to-face interaction.

She said she is preparing a different type of first week lesson plan to help kids get used to being in a routine again.

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“These kids have not been in the classroom for six months, maybe,  so that is going to be important for them,” Amsler said.

For teachers doing distant learning full time, several educators told WCCO they were busy reviewing the technical side of things to make sure lesson plans go smoothly.

Kris Happe got a whiteboard for her home and a standing desk, to try to be on her feet just like she would be in the classroom. She’s teaching for the Distance Learning Academy through Osseo Area Schools.

“How can you get that same interaction and movement and energy in front of your camera so your kids feel that too,” Happe said.

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Another teacher said they would be scheduling outdoor home visits to make sure students were able to access their lesson plans online for distance learning.

Kate Raddatz