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Winona Area Public Schools students won't return to classrooms until May 5 at the earliest
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Winona Area Public Schools students won't return to classrooms until May 5 at the earliest

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WAPS meals

James Klein shows off the milk he received as part of his free lunch provided by Winona Area Plic Schools on Wednesday, March 18 at Maplewood Townhomes in Winona. Klein, a student at Head Start, is pictured with his sisters — Ryann Robb, a Houston Elementary School student, and Christina Klein, a Cotter High School student — and mom, Nicki Klein. All children 18 and under can receive free meals from WAPS during the school closure. 

While Winona Area Public Schools students will start classes again March 31, they won’t be back in the school buildings. Instead, until May 5, they will be learning from a distance.

The extended closure is based on an announcement Gov. Tim Walz made Wednesday that closes all Minnesota schools through May 4.

For the past two weeks, school employees have worked together in case the decision was made to keep schools closed. Now, they will use the plans they have created to make sure children continue to be educated.

“We are committed to providing students and families with what they need in order to ensure that every student receives an equitable education and has equitable access to learning and instruction,” WAPS Superintendent Annette Freiheit said in a letter to families Wednesday.

“If you are unable to afford internet access, we have outlined in the district learning plan local providers who are willing to help with no-cost or low-cost options,” she said.

The distance learning will continue until, at the earliest, April 30, with the weekdays between then and May 4 being used for preparing for the students to return to the schools.

More information about distance learning for specific grade levels is available at winonaschools.org and from school employees.

Staff not involved in the district’s child care to energy workers or not involved in food prep could start working from home Thursday.

Some staff can work in the schools if they are more comfortable doing so.

Free breakfasts and lunches are available to all students that are 18 years or younger. These meals can be dropped off at school bus stops or picked up at school sites.

More information can be found on the district’s website.

“We are committed to providing students and families with what they need in order to ensure that every student receives an equitable education and has equitable access to learning and instruction.” WAPS Superintendent Annette Freiheit

“We are committed to providing students and families with what they need in order to ensure that every student receives an equitable education and has equitable access to learning and instruction.”

WAPS Superintendent Annette Freiheit

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