Orientation and technology pick-up for students, teachers prepare classrooms

At Coon Rapids Middle School, it’s orientation and technology pick-up day for sixth-graders.

Aiden Kruger is ready.

"I’m really excited to see my friends," he shared.

With his new school schedule in hand, he’s navigating the hallways to find his classrooms. He’ll only spend part of his week here, for now.

"I wish I could go to school every day instead of having to be some days here and some just having to stay home and do it, I really don’t like that," he said.

While there is much anticipation of what the school year will look like, his parents are hopeful.

"I’m excited for him and I hope things go back to normal soon so he can really experience real school," Elise Kruger said.

Seventh-grade math teacher Carrie Paske is preparing her classroom at Northdale Middle School in Coon Rapids.

"I’ll be making pods, I think it’ll be eight to nine groups of four around the room," she described.

Her room set up will make sure students are practicing social distancing.

"We got our class list and I think I have, at most,12 kids signed up to come at any given day," she said.

Her math colleagues are busy working as a team on their new curriculum that will be taught in the classroom and online to students at home.

"More than any other year, the three of us will be lockstep, shooting videos together, everything will be exactly the same," Paske said.

Lockers will be out of order for students this year, same with the gym lockers.

Students will use their backpacks for their belongings, and they are being asked to wear comfortable clothes and tennis shoes on physical education days, as students won’t be allowed to change clothes.

Paske said, as she prepares for school to start, she’s staying positive, knowing the only constant this year may just change.

"Sometimes it’s easy to get wrapped up in the negatives, we have politics going on, we have unrest going on, and a pandemic going on, but I’m just trying to stay positive and just allow grace, and do the best you can, and hopefully it all goes okay," she said.