Minneapolis teachers’ union continues to push for online classes as COVID cases rise

The extreme wind chill forecast for Monday morning has become the perfect storm, when combined with the COVID-fueled bus driver shortage for Minneapolis public schools. The district announcing e-learning for Monday met with only a mixed reaction from the president of the Minneapolis teachers’ union.

“My first reaction was thank goodness,” said Greta Callahan. “The cold weather tomorrow was either divine intervention or just a really good excuse… We certainly had a lot of cold weather on Friday and we should have, too.”

Minneapolis Superintendent Ed Graff said, “We got it to work last week. But with the increased limitations of our transportation department due to COVID-19 infections reported over the weekend, poses too great a risk to the safety of our students. ”

Greta Callahan, President of the Minneapolis Teachers Union

But the union has been pushing for e-learning options as positive cases continue to rise.

“Several buildings had 40 or 50 percent of the staff absent on Friday, and we currently have several classrooms that only have a few students showing up and showing up,” Callahan said. “It doesn’t work, we can’t keep flying it.”

The best way to respond is one of the many uncertainties surrounding what is yet to come.

Minnesota Department of Health posted sunday that there is a high demand on the few testing sites that were open and encouraged people to test at home or make an appointment for Monday.

This week, the US Supreme Court is expected to rule on the Biden administration’s vaccination mandate for employers with more than 100 workers; and school districts are among those preparing to implement it, if necessary.

While dealing with the daily stress of understaffing.

“At another school, the plan on Friday when there were no substitute teachers was that any student who didn’t have a teacher would just go to the lunch room,” Callahan said. is definitely not what’s best for the students either. “

St. Paul’s public schools told FOX 9 they have no plans for e-learning for Monday. Students from St. Paul will be in class tomorrow, along with many other districts in Minnesota. From Sunday evening, with reminders to be prepared for the dangerous cold at the bus stop.