ST. CLOUD -- A local teachers union and school district are hard at work finalizing their plan for the upcoming school year.

On Thursday afternoon, state leaders announced their Safe Learning Plan with framework for reopening schools on a district-by-district basis.

Chris Erickson is the President of the St. Cloud Education Association. He says despite the fact that it puts more pressure on local leaders, he thinks the plan was the right way to go.

It makes sense to me to have each area determine what's best for their community. I do like the guidance that the state is giving on what criteria you use to determine that, so I was pretty happy with the way things were determined. It puts more pressure on our local decisionmakers, but they can handle it and they'll do what's best for the kids in St. Cloud and the surrounding area.

The St. Cloud Area School District has been collecting feedback from students, parents, and staff members via a survey, virtual meetings, and other listening sessions. Erickson says the feedback coming from local teachers has been consistent.

Our teachers are eager to be with the kids and they want to be able to do it safely. That's the number one concern that I've been hearing from all of them. They want their kids to be safe and they want to be safe. The district is taking those considerations into mind and is going to be working with us. If students need to be doing distance learning or if we have staff that need to do strictly distance learning, that's an option that we've already discussed.

The superintendents cabinet is expected to present their 2020-2021 plan to the school board on Wednesday night.

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