Bemidji, Cass Lake-Bena schools are off for a COVID closure day

Bemidji and Cass Lake Bena schools, among others across the state, are taking an extra day off for the holiday break today.

Bemidji Superintendent Tim Lutz said Thursday that the district’s “ability to maintain the capacity to operate our schools is being greatly strained.”

Lutz noted that staff absences, a lack of available substitutes, and increasing numbers of student absences have prompted the use of an emergency COVID closure day.

“Over the past few days, our teacher substitute fill rate has been under 50 percent, meaning that more than half of open/necessary positions remain unfilled,” wrote Lutz in an email to district parents.

Cass Lake-Bena Schools also say their staff and student absences over the last two weeks have impacted their ability to operate schools in a responsible manner.

Larissa Donovan is the News Director for the stations of Paul Bunyan Broadcasting and has been, almost without interruption, since Election Day 2016. She covers all the beats in north-central Minnesota, such as local government, crime, education, environment and social issues. She studied communications at Bemidji State University. You can follow along with Larissa's live tweets of meetings and events on Twitter!

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