Minneapolis Public Schools to start in-person learning for middle, high schools in April

Minneapolis Public Schools announced middle and high school students will return to the classroom, starting April 12.

Minneapolis is one of the last few districts to bring all of their students back for in-person learning amid the pandemic. Nearly 90 percent of school districts in the state are currently offering some form of in-person learning for all of their students. 

"I wasn’t really expecting to go back, but once I heard that, I was like this is great. I’m super excited," said Megan Twomey, a senior at Washburn High School in Minneapolis.

Twomey is excited to get back into the classroom to at least get a taste of what a normal senior year would have been like.

"I didn’t really have much hope to go back to school," said Twomey. "I was like, oh I just want an in-person graduation. That’s really all I want, but now I have the hope of actually going back and I’m really excited."

She says she expects it to feel different with masks and social distancing and says she’s a bit nervous about crowded hallways and how they’ll all stay safe.

The leader of the Minneapolis teachers’ union says they have similar worries.

"MPS is just not ready for this to happen – there are so many things that need to be worked out," said Greta Callahan, president of the Minneapolis Teachers Federation.

Callahan says they would like to see the district implement caps on class sizes and weekly testing for staff. One of her main concerns is it is still unclear how thousands of high school students will physically get back to school.

"Our students in Minneapolis public schools at the high school level use public transportation," said Callahan. "There just isn’t the capacity on city buses right now to have thousands and thousands of students on city buses."

Capacity limits on Metro Transit buses is still capped at 15 people. A spokesperson for Metro Transit says they will work closely with the district to come up with a plan for transporting students that’s safe.

A spokesperson for Minneapolis Public Schools said, "Part of our registration for in-person learning will help provide data on potential Metro Transit ridership so we can share with them, and the data will help with planning."