By Kate Raddatz

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Thousands of Minnesota students will head back into the classroom Tuesday.

The focus has been on getting the youngest students back first. Now, many middle and high school students will return to the classroom for the first time in months.

On Friday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released new guidelines for states to consider to get students back into the classroom. The report stresses universal mask wearing, proper ventilation in schools, hand washing and six-feet minimum of social distancing.

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Dr. Michael Osterholm — University of Minnesota infectious disease expert and President Joe Biden’s COVID-19 Advisory Board member — said Monday he supports the recommendations.

The State of Minnesota’s “Safe Learning Plan” recommends “three feet of physical distancing” when it comes to getting students back into schools.

Ahmed Abdelal is a junior at Woodbury High School.

“Me personally, I’m excited to go back. I like, you know, school environments,” Abdelal said. “Seeing friends, making like connections with teachers.”

(credit: CBS)

Grades 11 and 12, as well as middle school students, return to the classroom Tuesday for a hybrid model in South Washington County Schools. Junior Molly McNeely says she wants to go back, but is a little nervous for the adjustment.

“Now going back, it’s gonna be back to that structured time, so there is less flexibility for me to do everything that I’ve been doing before when we’re online,” McNeely said.

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The CDC did not make teachers getting vaccinated a requirement for returning to in person learning.

The head of Education Minnesota said they would like to see the complete CDC guidelines implemented in every school for a safer return to the classroom.

Kate Raddatz