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Process for School Closure Due to Staff Shortage 2.9.21

As we continue through the school year, we are seeing loss of staff for multiple days due to quarantine. This is often not because of confirmed COVID cases, but is due to staff or family members exhibiting symptoms of illness that warrant a COVID test. These tests overwhelmingly come back negative, but it requires staff to quarantine in their homes until the test results are returned. This public safety requirement is creating the very real possibility that a school or classroom may need to be cancelled for a day due to lack of staffing. The Cloquet Public Schools are working hard to acquire new substitutes and create options for teachers to work remotely to limit the possibility of this occurring. We understand many families rely on their school system for more than an education and that students attending school is often critical to families being able to work and provide for themselves. We will make every effort to avoid school closures due to staffing shortfalls. In the event it is necessary to close, we want to make sure our families know the procedure for how this will be announced and when notification will be sent.

Notification of school or classroom closure will work very similar to weather related school closures. The district will communicate a message to the impacted families via our school messenger system. The message will come both through a phone call and email message. It is important families have up to date contact information on file with their school to ensure you receive these important messages. Please make sure to notify the school of any changes to your contact information, should they arise, and also pass this message along to friends and family whose children attend our schools. The district will also announce any school building closures on local television and radio stations. We will not announce closure of single classrooms on local news media in an attempt to avoid confusion for families whose classrooms are still in operation.

We will make every effort to announce these types of closures with as much advanced notice as possible. We are anticipating that these type of closures would likely be announced in the evening before the day of closure. That said, we never know when a staff member may need to quarantine and there is a possibility of a morning closure announcement, much like weather related closures.

At present, we are hoping these closures will not be necessary during the school year and are working to avoid them. We are here to serve our community and understand the importance of having open schools. We ask that families consider having a plan for providing care for your child in case a closure is necessary.

Thank you!

Cloquet Public Schools