Teachers take part in safety training as school year nears

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Minnesota educators are back together for the first time as they meet to discuss safety measures before heading back to school.

Trio Wolf Creek is an online high school that incorporates in-person learning and a hybrid model. It’s something they’ve been doing for years and will continue this fall.

"This school has existed for a long time, so they know what they are doing when it comes to hybrid learning, whereas, some other schools might not be quite as prepared," said Renee Anick, a first-year teacher.

Anick just graduated this spring, and her first day on the job is spent discussing safety measures with her new colleagues.

"We’re grouping up and going around the building, looking at what safety precautions we see that we might want to do for the school year," she explained.

Plexiglass dividers just arrived and will soon be set up in offices and classrooms as an added safety measure.

In the computer lab, students will be spaced apart, but the plexiglass will allow teachers to have closer interaction when helping a student.

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"Last year I would have sat down next to that student and said ‘Great, let’s work through this together,’ so to be able to do that at some level but while also protecting their safety (is important)," said teacher and school board member Becki Olseen.

Social distancing markers line the floors and everyone who enters the school building this fall will have a temperature check.

"We have temperature checks coming in, we are encouraging hand washing, sanitizing, social distancing, masks, I think if we didn’t have those things I would be a lot more nervous," Anick shared.

It is a new normal, but one the school, and its teachers, say they are ready for.

"We’ve always been a flexible school, but we are really learning to push ourselves to go with the flow this year," Olseen said. "I am excited to reconnect with our kiddos and see where it takes us."