Despite concerns, students, parents and teachers all prepare for distance learning in Minnesota

Two Minnesota girls prepare for distance learning as many school districts across the state begin it Monday.

Monday marks the beginning of a new way of learning for many families across Minnesota.

What families are finding is that it’s the parents who are doing the learning right along with their children as distance learning begins in earnest.

Classrooms will take on a new look in the alternative format after Gov. Tim Walz ordered schools to close to help stop the spread of COVID-19

“Just the thought of doing this for two months makes me nervous,” said Jaye Beckius, a mother.

“Beckius, of New Prague, has a first, a fifth and an eighth grader. All of them will have classes online until May 5.

“I’m still working outside the home and my husband works for a bank and so he’s still working three days a week and so there will just be days where they’re going to have to navigate this on their own,” Beckius said.

The format for distance learning varies from district to district and even teachers admit there will be a learning curve.

“I guess my biggest concern is that parents are going to feel so overwhelmed by it that they’ll choose to do nothing,” said Maressa Rousslange, a Long Prairie kindergarten teacher.

“A lot of our high school kids might be the grown up at home during the day, so we tried to take that into consideration. We might have older siblings helping kids with the homework,” she added.

Everyone is trying to navigate what is certain to be an unusual time.

“Your house is usually where you relax and have fun and now it’s also school,” said Beckius.