Educators and parents react to ‘Due North’ education plan

Mary Ann Cherico is coming up on month number six of distance learning.

She shared pictures of her her two elementary school children learning from home in Osseo Area Schools.

"We have a pod with three other families so we have four fourth graders and two kindergartners," she shared.

So far the school year at home has been a good one, but she’s hopeful her kids can get back into their classrooms.

To do that, she says some things need to happen first.

"I think we would need to see the vaccine getting rolled out and getting to a point where they are saying we have that heard immunity, and really being able to eliminate the need for any sort of hybrid," she said.

On Monday, Gov. Tim Walz said he is hopeful more students will get back inside classrooms this school year, adding 15,000 vaccinations for educators and child care providers over a five day period starting Thursday will help.

Walz announces sweeping education plan amid ongoing pandemic

The Anoka Hennepin School District, the largest in the state, will get 1,875 of those doses.

"Concerned people are thrilled to feel safer and I want our educators to focus on kids and not be worried about COVID, and so if this moves them forward, awesome," Superintendent David Law said.

Law says the governor’s ‘Due North’ education plan has similar initiatives to what the Anoka Hennepin School District has been working on.

"A lot of it is really exciting for me, and will be really reassuring for our community," he said.

He says seeing a focus on pandemic relief is very important as well, as the school district saw fewer students fill out free and reduced meal applications this year due to distance learning or homeschooling.

"As fewer families fill that out, the state perceives that as fewer families in crisis, but that is not the case. Those families will come back struggling," he said.

Law is hopeful the state can help offset that financial loss. He says he is looking forward to exploring more details of the new plan.