One Michigan school district is leaning on its cultural heritage to educate its children during our current pandemic.

Hancock in the Upper Peninsula has a rich Finnish tradition extending back to the hearty miners who mined copper in the Keweenaw Peninsula over 100 years ago.

And that heritage has led to a temporary solution to teaching in the age of the Cvid-19 pandemic: outdoor classrooms.

Houghton Middle School principal Steve Aho is taking a page from the Finnish tradition of forest schools, by setting up tents outside of the school buildings, enabling teachers to teach some classes outdoors.

Both the Middle and High Schools in Houghton have set up temporary tents for outside learning, realizing the solution, given the Keweenaw's harsh weather is not permanent.

“Realistically, the tents will need to basically be taken down once ice becomes probable,” Chris Salani, Hancock High School principal told TV 6 News. “With the condensation overnight, with the colder temps, frost, etc, the ice load is really where the cutoff will be determined for us when we have to take those down.”

“It’s what we can do,” said Aho, “it’s the best we can do and if that’s what we can offer for them to get outside and be apart from each other, it’s worth it.”

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