Minnetonka students, parents rally in hopes to open the high school for in-person classes

Jessica Miles
Updated: October 01, 2020 09:39 PM
Created: October 01, 2020 09:03 PM

Minnetonka high school students and parents are upset their school is being used for elementary school kids doing in-person learning, even as they are forced to do distance learning.

The students and parents would like to share the building so older students could have some in-person classes as well.

The district says it has been a priority to have the youngest learners in person, and to maintain social distancing they had to put fourth-and-fifth-graders at the high school, leaving no room for high school students.

Parents say it's just not an equitable plan, and they'd like to be able to share the high school space.

"It’s super hard to understand why 75% of Minnetonka kids are in school or being able to attend but they are displacing all of the high school kids," said parent Jenny McKinney.

McKinney has two children in high school.

"The school district is getting millions of dollars to open up the schools safely, and that money should be used for that," another parent said.

The superintendent says the district is working on more plans to get high school students into their building more than just once or so a month, but decisions are based on COVID-19 numbers.

"We have assured them there is a plan to get them back in school. However, the virus is going to drive all of those decisions, and right now the virus is spiking some, so we don’t want to bring them back for, say, two weeks and find out we have to close down and keep people in total limbo," Superintendent of Minnetonka Schools Dennis Peterson said. 

Students say they have concerns about mental health.

"I think the isolation for students is really tough, I think it’s adding on to a lot of problems that were already had," said one senior.

Another questions why sports teams can practice and play in large groups but classes can't be held.

"If we can execute practices with 30 to 40 kids, then I think we can execute holding classes indoors, inside a building, social distancing, and wearing masks," he said.

There are no plans right now to change the learning model.

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