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Mpls. Public Schools Superintendent Shares Preferred Plan For School This Fall

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- Many parents and educators are anxiously awaiting to hear what school will look like in the fall.

WCCO's Erin Hassanzadeh spoke to the Minneapolis Public Schools superintendent about his plan, which is still contingent on the governor's announcement on schools.

"We're positioning ourselves to be as responsive as possible to what the governors direction is. Also knowing we have a preference right now as to where we'd like to begin," Graff said.

That preference is distant learning with extra enhancements.

He says improvements will include streamlined platforms, tech support for families and more hands on materials to enhance learning this year.

His recommendation reflects input from educators and families.

"It's been evident the preference has not been to go back to in person learning," Graff said.

Out of roughly 12,000 district parents surveyed recently, a hybrid of distanced and in-person learning was preferred, followed by distance learning and then in-person.

Minneapolis Public Schools (MPS) employees were also surveyed -- more than 50% said they were very uncomfortable or uncomfortable returning to work in-person.

"As an educator I'm not surprised at those results, and as a parent I'm not surprised either," Greta Callahan said. "I can't wait for my son to go back to school and to get out of the house and I think that's how a lot of people feel we know our kids need to have social interaction."

Callahan is president of the union representing many MPS educators.

"We do not feel safe going back right now," she said.

Regardless of the decision that will come later this week, stakeholders are working to ensure this fall is smoother than last spring.

"This is not an easy task and this is not something that should be looked upon as being perfect as well," she said.

At a meeting tonight, the superintendent and board members updated us on the transition away from school resource officers.

The district is still interviewing candidates for the specialist positions that will replace SRO's.

The 11 new hires should be in place by September.

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