By Per Peterson
A trio of school superintendents from southwest Minnesota shared a half-hour on the phone last Friday with U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar, discussing their concerns about broadband, or lack thereof, and the impacts the pandemic has had on their respective schools.
Klobuchar said she understands how important it is for students to have a physical presence in the classroom — something that has been lost for all students on some level over the last year.
“They need to really have the school that we want them to have,” Klobuchar said. “I’m so glad we see the light at the end of the tunnel with the vaccines going up and up and up in Minnesota, with distribution not just limited to the metro area, but going to every corner of our state.”
Klobuchar said a big part of getting vaccinations out is to get schools back to normal — not just for the next school year, but for the remainder of this one, as well as any summer school programs that will be taking place.
“I agree with the decision made in the state to get those that work in the buildings — not just teachers, but custodial people, bus drivers — near the front of the line to be able to get the vaccine.”
School superintendents Ryan Nielsen, Canby School District and Chair of Superintendents’ Executive Council of Southwest West Central Service Cooperative; Joe Meyer, Murray County Central School District; and Wayne Wormstadt, Windom School District, each shared their concerns with Klobuchar on a local level.
Although some students and staff have been quarantined this year, Nielsen said Canby has been able to maintain in-person students all year so far, in part because of the space it has available due to declining enrollment numbers.
See this week’s Headlight Herald for more on this article.