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COVID-19 CONCERNS: How your child’s school day will change

School supplies at an Albert Lea elementary

ALBERT LEA, Minn. (KTTC) - Amid coronavirus concerns, the state is moving to distance learning until May 4th in an attempt to slow the spread of the disease.

Normally, kids enjoy being out of school.

"Kids are missing school. They are missing the consistency of school," said Halverson Elementary principal Tonya Franks. "They're missing their friends and teachers."

The past two days, Albert Lea schools have been open for students to come and get their supplies. The kids are unsure whether they will return this school year.

"Of course practicing social distancing and only allowing one family in the room at a time but it worked very smoothly," said Principal Franks.

With distance learning being the new norm, students of all ages are having to take home devices to use special programs.

"With this, it's the opportunity that they'll get to experience something else outside of Albert Lea," said Clay Scott, a 3rd grade teacher at Sibley Elementary School.

Mr. Scott has changed some of his lessons to virtual ones hoping to keep the kids engaged.

"I like to have fun and making learning fun is kind of my style," said Scott.

While kids might know how to use the devices, educating the parents is another step in the process.

"It's going to be teamwork," Franks said. "All across the board."

Such as accomodating for the area's diveristy.

"Not only in English, but we're providing the information in Spanish, Nuer, and Karen so that any family that doesn't speak English will have the information," said Franks, who works with translators. "We have to support our parents as much as our students."

All the teachers say they miss seeing the students faces every day.

"We're hoping that the students will be able to return but there's so much unknown," said Scott.

"There's a lot of unknowns but we're going to rise to the challenge and figure it out for our students," Franks said. "That's what we're here for every day."

The Albert Lea School District will provide free to-go lunches to students on a bus in front of each school. They will be parked and serving from 11 to noon.

Alex Tejada

Alex Tejada

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