Minnesota schools prepare for return to in-person classes after COVID-19 pause

Many school districts across the Twin Cities are returning to in-person learning this week. Because of a surge in COVID-19 cases coming out of winter break, they’ve been out of the classroom for 2 weeks of distance-learning.

"It went ok, it had its ups and downs, but we persevered through," said parent Brita Wegener of Roseville.

Wegener has a 2nd grader and 4th grader at Roseville’s Emmet Williams Elementary School. Both are headed back into the building on Monday.

"In person is definitely better, I mean there’s no doubt about that," Wegener said. Wegener believes it’s better for the students and better for working parents.

"Parents being able to work without having kids home of course," Wegener said.

In St. Paul, Laura Machacek understands the situation from both sides. She’s both a teacher and a parent at Great River School.

"It’s tiring, it’s exhausting and we are so stretched as teachers and parents," Machacek said.  "I miss my students a lot."

Machacek says teachers will have to take this latest transition day by day, but she believes the reward now outweighs the risk.

"It’s really hard to build relationships over a screen… those personal interactions and that relationship building," Machacek said.

She also stressed that a lack of routine has caused more students to misbehave. Now she hopes this latest move will get things back on track.

"They are so excited, they miss their friends, they miss their teachers," Machacek finished.