La Crescent-Hokah teachers adapting to another shift to virtual learning

After another COVID-19 spike La Crescent-Hokah students are back at home, but teachers are prepared on a moment's notice
School Covid Cases

LA CRESCENT, Minn. (WKBT) – La Crescent-Hokah Students are back home once again after the district reported 17 active COVID-19 cases last week. Health officials in Houston County say the district did everything correctly, but it still didn’t stop the spike.

Teachers in the district are making the most of another schedule change. Experienced teachers’ opinions of the past year have a lot in common. La Crescent-Hokah Middle and High School art teacher Nicole Greener carries 25 years of education experience.

“I have former students’ children now,” Greener said.

Greener is no exception to the rule when it comes to her take on the past school year.

“Probably the single most eventful (year) of my entire career,” Greener said.

Ironic, due to the amount of time classrooms were filled with uneventful silence.

“It’s a spooky kind of quiet,” Greener said.

Students filled Nicole’s classroom just a short time ago.

“Was probably the most back to school tired I think I’ve ever been,” Greener said.

For Greener, the classroom grind is worth every second.

“To just hear that buzz again and to see them supporting each other again on so many different levels, it kind of feeds you as a teacher,” Greener said.

Last week district leaders told parents about 17 active COVID-19 cases. Tuesday, the district lists one case in the elementary, five in middle school, and 27 in the high school. The silence returns to the middle and high schools, with a purpose.

“We’re trying to do everything we can to keep the students, their families, and people in the community safe,” she said.

Houston County’s health director Pugleasa said this is not the fault of the school district.

“There are people who have followed every mitigation and still contracted COVID-19 and some who have flouted every mitigation and haven’t gotten it,” Pugleasa said.

The reality doesn’t feel any better for Greener.

“It’s kind of a gut punch because you want your kids back here,” Greener said. “I didn’t go into this to teach to a screen.”

Her passion to teach is painted all over her face.

“Aside from my own kids, this is my air,” Greener said.

That love for education allows her to adapt and reach children through any means necessary so they can go after their own personal calling.

“I talked with my classes about the concept of let’s plan for the worst and hope for the best,” Greener said.

La Crescent plans on two weeks of virtual learning again. Greener said there is a positive to Zoom classes. After the pandemic, she says she would like to keep a virtual door open so students don’t miss important material when they are homesick.