Red Lake Nation News - Babaamaajimowinan (Telling of news in different places)

Some Minnesota teachers apply to stay home, as students return to classrooms

Youngest kids go back to school amid excitement, safety fears


February 2, 2021

David Joles, Star Tribune

After offering an "air hug," Principal Ryan Vernosh got the real thing from a student at St. Paul's Maxfield Elementary, where pre-K through 2nd-graders returned Monday.

The youngest St. Paul students returned to classrooms Monday, as the district joined dozens of others across Minnesota that have reopened elementary schools amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

But the excitement of welcoming the kids back to class comes as teachers continue to raise safety concerns. Some are scrambling to apply for accommodations that would allow them to work from home and teach students still in distance learning instead of risking exposure to the virus in school buildings.

School districts, sometimes fielding hundreds of requests, must find a balance between ensuring enough staff for in-person learning and protections for educators who are or have families at higher risk of complications from the virus.


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