School is back in session in Mankato, New Ulm

School is back in session in across Minnesota.
Published: Sep. 6, 2022 at 6:27 PM CDT
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MANKATO, Minn. (KEYC) - School is back in session in New Ulm and Mankato.

Around 2,200 students returned to New Ulm Public Schools last week.

Superintendent Jeff Bertrang says this year’s off to a strong start.

“It’s great to see the smiling faces and all the backpacks. The teachers are happy to be working with the kids again,” Bertrang stated. “We had an uptick in enrollment this year, which is great. We planned for it. We also planned for our facilities, to make sure we had enough rooms for our kids. Like most schools, we’re trying to adjust as we go.”

Mankato Area Public Schools opened up Tuesday, welcoming more than 8,000 through its doors.

It’s an exciting day for many, as it seemed to mark the beginning of a post-pandemic chapter.

“There’s a real sense of getting back to normal right from the start,” MAPS Superintendent Paul Peterson said.

Meanwhile, COVID-19′s impact still lingers in schools across the nation.

New this year in New Ulm: a bigger focus on kids’ mental health.

“[We’re] working with our counselors, social workers and supporters to make sure kids and families have what they need,” Bertrain explained. “As we look at this school year, we add a little bit more of our mental health counseling services for families and kids.”

MAPS is providing additional wellness resources for staff, too.

“Last year was really challenging,” Peterson mentioned. “We got to the middle of the year, and it was a heavy lift-- just based on how challenging the work was. We want to make sure that we’re mindful of that, and we’re putting supports in place right away so people know what’s available to them.”