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Albert Lea students transitioning to distance learning

Students are cleaning out lockers a couple months ahead of summertime as the district is preparing to move to online-based learning

Posted: Mar 25, 2020 10:52 PM
Updated: Mar 26, 2020 1:15 AM

ALBERT LEA, Minnesota - We're roughly two months out from the end of the school year.

It is, though, looking unliklely that students will be able to return to the classroom before the academic year ends.

For Albert Lea students, they're cleaning out lockers, and picking up instruments, lost and found items, and materials before officially transititioning over to online instruction for the time being.

Southwest Middle School Principal Chris Dibble is choreographing the exodus.

"They know to come in, they grab their instrument if they need it, head to their lockers to get their materials, then right out the side door. We have the doors propped open so no one has to touch a door knob."

He's heard from students and teachers reeling from this sudden change.

"As I was doing traffic this morning, some students were coming in and I'm like, 'I miss you guys!" And they said, 'we miss you too!' You never get that throughout a normal year, you rarely miss the principal at school. They're missing the social piece and I think they're missing friends and their teachers. They're nervous that they won't get to see them again this year."

And, he sees it as a teaching moment.

"In terms of educational creativity, this has been a very good project. We've had to come up with ideas that we never thought we'd ever have to think of."

Students and parents will be allowed in school buildings from 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Thursday.

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