Issues were mostly technical in nature, with servers overwhelmed and crashes.
Minnesota students experienced some glitches as they began learning from home Monday, a new normal that may last the rest of the school year as the state tries to slow the spread of COVID-19.
Minnesota had had 576 confirmed cases as of Monday, up 73 from Sunday. The state's death toll from COVID-19 rose by one, to 10. Health officials said 56 patients were hospitalized Monday, including 24 in intensive care.
Gov. Tim Walz gave the closing order two weeks ago to allow administrators and teachers time to figure out how to make distance learning work for the state's nearly 900,000 public and charter school students. They're not scheduled to return to their classrooms until at least April 30.
Troubles with the popular Schoology learning management system were so numerous that it was trending on Twitter in Minnesota.
"We're asking for patience from our educators, our families and our students as we learn in this new way for the very first time," Deputy Education Commissioner Heather Mueller said on the governor's daily conference call with reporters.
Students at South St. Paul Secondary School had trouble logging into Schoology on Monday morning.
"It was kind of a cluster because, of course, Schoology was overloaded, so it went down," said Jessica Davis, who teaches 11th and 12th grade math. But it worked in the afternoon, which is important, she said, because her school uses it as a "one stop shop" where students log for attendance, to get assignments and to communicate with teachers.
Davis wasn't due to role out her materials until Tuesday but was already "overwhelmed" with emails, Snapchats and tweets from eager students.
"The kids are out there and they are trying to participate, and it's kind of awesome," she said.
In the Stewartville School District in southeastern Minnesota, middle and high school teacher Jim Parry helped prepare by posting YouTube videos aimed at helping students overcome their fears.
"If we let these emotions control us, we won't have a chance to experience personal growth together, as a community," Parry said into the camera outside an empty school Sunday.
Parry, who runs the district's REACH program for kids who need extra support, said Monday that he'd been using Google Meet, Google Hangout, emails, phone calls and text messages to connect with his students.
"I just got off the phone with one student in particular that is struggling with everything going on," he said. "And I said, 'It's going to be OK. I promise. Any way that I can connect with you, that's what we'll use.' ... I think it's important that we're flexible enough to know that not every family is going to understand every tool that we use to deliver curriculum."
Davis, who was named Minnesota Teacher of the Year by the teachers' union Education Minnesota, said she's hopeful that the pandemic-forced experiment will help make the traditional learning environment work better for all students.
"I feel like this is a real opportunity for us to overhaul an educational system that just left so many of our students behind," she said.