Local schools work to find solutions to broadband Internet challenges in preparation for distance learning

Schools work to find solutions to Internet challenges in preparation for distance learning

HENDERSON, Minn. (KEYC) - Schools are temporarily closed statewide starting Wednesday after Governor Tim Walz signed an executive order in response to COVID-19.

Now that schools are closed, Minnesota school districts are working on plans for distance learning in the near future.

While students and families know that schools are closed until at least March 27th, what happens next is still up in the air.

On Monday, March 30th, school will either resume as normal, or Le Sueur-Henderson Public Schools, among other districts, will continue with a COVID-19 distance learning plan if ordered by the governor.

To help measure a variety of different circumstances, the school district encouraged families to complete surveys on technology access, meal interest and more.

According to Superintendent Marlene Johnson, distance learning is going to look and sound different than normal learning.

“It will include online learning,” she said.

The school district also has plans to deliver learning packets to students who do not have broadband Internet access.

“Our bus transportation has offered, they will be picking up packets, they will be delivering packets to those students that need that," she said.

Broadband companies are also making sure students can continue to learn.

LTD Broadband is offering two free months of broadband access to families, including those in southern Minnesota, who qualify for free school lunch, according to CEO Corey Hauer.

“Our students are our future, and if there’s someone that because of financial needs doesn’t have access, that’s some place we can step in,” he said.

Residents can sign up through the company, though they will have to get eligibility confirmation from their school district.

The district’s bus system is currently delivering food to those who need it.

Food pick-up is also available.

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