MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Thousands of students and educators around the Twin Cities will head back into a classroom Monday morning. For many, it will be for the first time in months.
St. Paul Public Schools will be bringing back its youngest students, prekindergarten through 2nd-graders. The state’s largest school district, Anoka-Hennepin, will be welcoming back 3rd to 5th graders. Their youngest students returned to the classroom two weeks ago.READ MORE: M Health Fairview's Volunteer Effort Crucial To Vaccine Distribution
Minneapolis educators will head back to the classroom to prep for students’ return next week.
While Gov. Tim Walz has called for younger students to return to in-person learning with safety measures in place to reduce the spread of COVID-19, not everyone is on board. Some educators say they wish staff were vaccinated before being required to return to the classroom.READ MORE: Friday Is Declared Tyler Johnson Day
Parents can still opt to have their children remain in full-time distance learning. Additionally, a Hennepin County judge ruled that certain Minneapolis teachers can continue to operate via distance learning following complaints from the teachers union that the district was denying work-from-home accommodations for educators who are at risk or caring from someone at risk.
The judge ruled in favor of the union, saying that the district has to allow those accommodations as long as staffing levels allow it. In response, the Minneapolis district did not address the court ruling specifically, but said that returning to the classroom is a complicated effort.
Last month, the state began prioritizing vaccinating kindergarten through 12th grade educators and childcare workers. Over the last few days, the state’s first mass vaccination clinic offered 15,000 doses to educators and childcare workers in the Twin Cities metro. The clinic was held at Roy Wilkins Auditorium in St. Paul.MORE NEWS: Standoff Continues In Duluth After Suspect Fatally Shot K-9 Officer
Meanwhile, nine community vaccination sites across the state are offering vaccine doses to educators, childcare workers and Minnesotans ages 65 and older. Over the last several weeks, COVID-19 infections, hospitalizations and deaths have trended downward. The state currently has one of the lowest test positivity rates in the nation.
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