MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — One Minneapolis school is sending students back to class in person Wednesday morning after a COVID-19 outbreak, while some teachers push for better protections.

There have been at least 275 outbreaks across Minnesota schools. Most of them are still active.

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One of the schools recovering from cases is Thomas Edison High School in northeast Minneapolis.

Edison staff felt it was more efficient to cut off the spread of a COVID outbreak among students by moving to distance learning for two weeks.

On Wednesday, everyone returns to the classroom in person, but while students were at home, staff members were busy making some safety changes.

The building was deep cleaned and PPE supplies were restocked. The school implemented new systems to keep the students and staff safely distanced during lunches and between classes.

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Edison is working with Minneapolis Public Schools to safely bring student-athletes back to practice.

Masking is still required. The school hosted a free COVID testing clinic last week and will offer free vaccinations starting this week.

The hope is these changes are enough so that they can stay in the classroom the remainder of the school year.

But union teachers within the district say it is not enough.

The Minneapolis Federation of Teachers is calling for the millions of dollars in federal money given to the school to help it stay open during the pandemic to be used towards a number of things, including:

  • Reduced class sizes
  • Hiring more substitute teachers and bus drivers
  • N95 face masks for educators
  • Accelerated hiring and training of support professionals
  • The option for some educators to be allowed to work remote to help students in quarantine.
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Edison students missed homecoming during the two-week return to distance learning, but the celebration has been rescheduled for next week.

Marielle Mohs