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Duluth school’s superintendent explains reasoning behind distance learning extension

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DULUTH, MN. -- Students at Duluth schools will keep learning from home through the new year.

District officials made that announcement during the city's virtual COVID-19 update Tuesday.

Superintendent John Magas said they made the decision now, so parents have time to prepare.

"We know that this is a sacrifice. We know that this is hard for families. It's a hard thing for me to call as superintendent. It's not something that anyone of us would want to do," said Magas.

With the sharp rise in local coronavirus cases, Duluth schools have seen an increase in students and staff testing positive.

"In certain circumstances, the ability to find substitute teachers or substitute workers in other areas like facilities to clean and also our clericals and many other roles is a challenge right now," said Magas.

With this hard time, Magas announced the School District also put together a new mental health page for anyone struggling.

"We are working with our executive board, student body as well as the athletic directors and members of our sports teams to get the message out around this and also get the message out about the safety precautions and mental health resources we have," said Magas.

He said the goal is to ensure everyone is ready to return to in-person learning when they can.

"You never know how strong you are until being strong is the only choice you have. And right now, this is the only choice we have is to be strong and to lift together," said Magas.

The district said they will await further guidance from the governor’s office and other state officials when making decisions about athletics and other after-school activities.

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Ryan Compeau

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