School is starting for families around the state.
Each school districts’s leaders are making their own plans about having classes in person, online from home or a hybrid combination of the two.
Schools are basing their decisions primarily on the number of positive Covid cases in their region.
A significant outbreak of positive Covid cases means kids stay home and take classes online.
Distance learning helps keep families safe from Covid, but it obviously creates a lot of challenges.
There’s managing the computer and internet access and navigating the classroom software the school is using.
And for parents who work outside the home, they need to find ways to support their children who will be doing their lessons home alone.
Ryan Dixon, Oglala Sioux, lives in the Lower Sioux Indian Community and teaches Dakota language in three different schools. He will be teaching in person, but one of this high school aged children will be home alone distance learning.
“Just make sure they’re keeping on top of things because… you have to keep at work or it’s just going to pile up. And then you’re going to get to the point where it’s just too much to possibly do. And you’ve got yourself in a mess,” said Dixon.
There are some parents who are choosing to go a different route.
Susan Beaulieu is a citizen of the Red Lake Nation and lies in Brainard with her husband and 4 kids. She says this year, she is doing something called “unschooling”
“Where it’s more driven by the kids is interest – building math, science, reading, writing, all art, all of that around subjects and content that they’re interested in,” said Beaulieu.
Beaulieu says she is finding resources to make sure her children’s minds keep active.
You can hear more from Susan, Ryan and other parents in the latest episode of Community Conversations from Minnesota Native News