Monday is back to school for some of Minneapolis Public Schools’ youngest students

Monday, some of Minneapolis’ youngest learners are returning to the classroom, with more students joining them later this week.

Not only is it the first day of school ever for many of these pre-K and kindergarten students, but it’s also a first for many educators as they begin a new learning experience.

Transition back to classroom starts Monday for Minneapolis students

Some teachers have expressed concerns about returning to the classroom without more staff vaccinations.

District officials have said they are ready.

"We’ve learned a lot, we’ve been preparing for months, to make sure staff are going to be safe, our students are going to be safe, I think It’s been great to see recent research that shows schools can operate safely when we follow those safety protocols," Minneapolis Public Schools Associate Superintendent Brian Zambreno said.

Some of those protocols include markings and arrows on the ground to make sure students and staff move around safely. Everyone must wear masks and all air filtration systems have been upgraded.

While there will be some learning curves as students return, there will be an emphasis placed on making sure they know what a school day is like.

"They’ve been connected to the building but these kids have not been in the building," Zambreno said. "Walking them through how to get access, find the things you need – but of course we have a layer of safety protocols and the social distancing. So I think we want it to feel like the first day of school. We won’t be able to see their smile but I think they call it ‘smize’ we’ll be able to see their smiling eyes."

Wednesday, first and second grade students will be back.

Then on Feb. 22, all students through fifth grade can return. At that point, the district says about 60%, or 10,000 students, will be back at school.

District officials said there will be no attention taken away from those who chose to continue to distance learn.