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Important Message for Potential School Closure 1/12/22

Families and Staff of Cloquet Public Schools,

We have been working hard all year to make sure that we create an environment that keeps our students attending school in person. Thus far we have been successful. That said, we have had a number of days where we have experienced serious staffing shortages, but have been able to keep our school buildings open.

Recently, we are seeing a trend in our region and across the state where a rapid increase in illness, both COVID related and other illness, is rendering schools and school districts incapable of safely staffing their schools. We have had a wonderful pool of substitutes assisting our district, but we are still falling short of filling positions on a regular basis. We want to inform our families that we will continue to work hard to keep our students attending in person, but we are making contingency plans in the event we might need to close a school building or the district to in-person instruction for a short period of time. We ask that all of our families begin to consider plans for how you would handle your child’s school being closed temporarily. Should school closures become necessary, there would be little advanced notice, as we are operating short staffed on a regular basis and striving to keep schools open. Having a plan in place in advance will be important. Should we need to close, we will work to minimize the number of buildings impacted and will work to keep the closure as short as possible.

Should the need arise, we anticipate closing buildings on a week-by-week basis. Each week, we would review our ability to staff the building for the coming week and make a determination as to whether the building will reopen or remain closed. Should we need to close, the district will continue to provide distance learning over the closure period. This will include opportunity for meal pickup on a daily basis and access to internet hotspots for families without internet access. We ask families who do not have consistent access to high speed internet to complete this survey (https://forms.gle/RQKWSbCtfAoahxFQ6). At present, we are not anticipating the option of providing childcare for Tier 1 workers as in past closures. Please consider alternate plans if you had previously relied upon this option.

Again, we are hoping to keep our students attending school in person for the remainder of the school year. We will only consider closing if we reach a critical point where we are unable to staff a building or buildings to a level we feel is necessary for the safety and education of our students. We thank you in advance for understanding the stresses schools are experiencing and for making a plan to be prepared in case a closure is necessary.

Cloquet Public Schools