Students, parents turn to alternative learning measures while schools are closed due to COVID-19

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A big question for parents across both Minnesota and Wisconsin is how to keep kids learning when all schools close Wednesday due to the COVID-19 outbreak. 

At Benilde St. Margaret's in St. Louis Park, senior Ronan Brew visited the school, but only to pick up his school books.

"It's hard not knowing when we will be back to enjoy the rest of our senior year in person," Bern said.

On Wednesday, the private school will get back to business with extended online classes.

Walz orders all Minnesota schools to close beginning Wednesday

"We're still going to have some video chats with teachers in certain classes depending on how teachers want to handle it, so still staying connected to everyone in the class and teacher getting the BSM experience is the best way we can," he said.

The closures, however, will impact younger students who can't stay home alone, much less do online school by themselves.

Melissa Gould is the principal of Minnesota Connections Academy, a free online K-12 school.

"We know the general public is not educators, but even picking up a book and reading with kids is going to be so great to keep them learning the aspects of reading to themselves," Gould said.

She says there are many great online resources for kids.

KSTP learned Dreambox is now offering a free three-month trial to parents. Brainpop is another service with a coronavirus contingency plan. 

"There are so many companies who are stepping up to this challenge who are all in to offer their resources," Gould said.

But it doesn't have to be on a screen, Gould says. Family board games and cooking also offer great math and science lessons.

"It's going to be trial and error, and everybody has to get comfortable with the uncomfortable for a little while until it all sorts out," she added.