Students and families pick up school supplies in preparation for distance learning

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As parents pull into Elm Creek Elementary in Maple Grove Thursday, teachers direct traffic moving quickly to gather up distance learning materials.

"We walkie what grade and teacher and they bring out the bag we wipe our hands with sanitizer take it out and drop it in the trunk," describe Principal Beth Ness.

Hundreds of bags have been packed by teachers with supplies to help students learn at home.

"For our families with students in fourth and fifth grade, it's a one to one iPad, our families who are in K through three, if they don't have an older sibling they also will get an iPad, and then, of course, spiral notebooks and school supplies that they need to do that work from home," Ness said.

Thursday was an emotional day for teachers and the families picking up materials as nobody knows for sure if students will be back in May. 

"It's pretty tough and it's tough for families, too, we want them to be there," Ness said.

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Teachers created a sign for students and families to see, and many families shared theirs in return.

"Thank you staff, you're the best," said Charlie, a first-grader holding up his signs.

"Going from sports every night and tournaments every weekend and school to like nothing, it's like just trying to find that balance, it's crazy," said Randi Schirmers, the parent of a fifth-grader.

Eleven-year-old Noelle walked up to get her bag and said she's ready to get back to the books.

"It's been kind of boring at home, so I'm kind of excited to get back to school," said the fifth-grader.

Hailey, 12, said she misses the social interaction but is getting used to school, with siblings, at home.

"The younger siblings tend to get very, very, very riled up, but grandma is very nice and she's been homeschooling with me and my brother on the internet," she explained.

Districts on spring break next week will start distance learning on April 6.

The hope is classes could be back in school buildings May 5.