School days are just around the corner

Deb Moldaschel
The Sleepy Eye Herald Dispatch

Just like you, I am very interested in hearing what Gov. Walz will say about schools on Thursday. The normal time for these big announcements has been 2 p.m., but I have not received an email from his office with the details yet. Those usually come the morning of the press conference. I’ll stay tuned.

I cover the news of our local schools and care deeply about the kids and staff. I have five grandchildren who go to school in the Maple River school district. Of course, I care deeply about the school experience they will have.

This morning (Wednesday) I read in the Star Tribune that Minneapolis schools will start with distance learning. They’ve decided the safety of students and staff can best be met by starting the school year out of the buildings, with additional supports built into their plan. In the article it said Gov. Walz has indicated that schools may implement distance learning even if that is not the decision made for state schools.

The Minneapolis school district, just like local districts throughout the state, have only the best interests of students and staff in mind as they consider the coming school year. People who go into education as a career love children and love teaching them. School board members also love the children, support their staff members, and want the best and safest school and learning environment they can provide.

I’m going to try to paraphrase a message I’ve seen on Facebook several times over the past few weeks. It is about how we react to whatever is decided.

This is true not just in Minnesota, or just in small towns like Sleepy Eye, it is true for schools around the world where COVID-19 cases continue to rise.

When the decision is announced some may find it too restrictive, some may find it not restrictive enough. We all have different perspectives on how the pandemic affects children and their families, often multi-generational families. We have different perspectives on how adults, of a variety of ages and risk levels, who work in schools might be affected.

Please keep the safety of everyone in school settings at the top of your mind. Please do what you can to support our schools as they do their best to provide education and a sense of well-being to our beloved children.