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Parents, local school districts weigh in on possible back to school plans

Devin Martin
Updated: July 10, 2020 11:00 PM
Created: July 10, 2020 10:53 PM

(ABC 6 News) - The decision to allow students back into schools is one that educators are looking for guidance on. 
 
Albert Lea parent Kasey Wolters said having kids go back to school is important for their mental health.
 
"Our son does miss his friends, he misses interacting with his teachers,” Wolters said. "I really hope that our kids can go back to school not just for educational purposes, but for their mental health and socially interacting with their peers and other adults."

In a statement sent to ABC 6 News, Superintendent of Albert Lea Area Schools Mike Funk, said schools in the district plan to open in August with hopes of an in-person format. 

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He says the district is working with teachers to ensure schools are safe and that they will be operating a pure distance-learning model for students who do not feel comfortable with coming back to school. 

Parents like Kasey agree. 

"I think of all of us parents should be aware of what's going on with our children and if they're questionable, keep them home,” Kasey said. “Teachers and staff they can know if they aren't feeling right or if something is changing or if a cough has developed."

She said her and her husband both tested positive for COVID-19 in May and have recovered. Her six-year-old son never developed symptoms, but they did quarantine for 14 days. 

“I do feel safe knowing that he has antibodies, I feel like he's a healthy kid and I do feel comfortable sending him,” she said. 

Rochester and Austin school districts will start their balanced calendars later this month.
 
Longfellow Elementary in Rochester will operate under a hybrid of in-person and distance learning. 

Superintendent Muñoz says because of how fluid the situation is, the plan of having three models can change. 

"It's up to what we hear from the governor that week of the 27th. You know, we've been told to play it all three models because we don't know which one will start the school year out in,” he said. “And then we've also been told that we may have to switch during the year."

Albert Lea superintendent Mike Funk also added the district did run a successful Summer program with about 100 elementary students doing a mix of in-person learning and distance learning. 


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