As of Tuesday, Feb. 9, approximately 50% of Cloquet School District staff have had the opportunity to receive at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, officials said.

The district was informed Tuesday that 72 additional COVID-19 vaccine doses will be made available to staff, putting it at about the 50% mark, according to superintendent Michael Cary.

If the trajectory continues, all staff will have been offered a vaccine within the next month.

“It’s starting to progress fairly quickly now,” Cary said.

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The process has not always been smooth, as communication between state and county health officials has not been consistent, Cary told the school board at its meeting Monday.

“There’s definitely been a bit of a disconnect,” he said.

When the state initially began its vaccine pilot program, Cloquet schools were asked to put together a vaccine priority list. State officials also sent individual links to staff members to collect information and form a separate list.

Other emails regarding the vaccines have also been sent by the state to the school district, but not to Carlton County officials, resulting in a communication gap. To mitigate the issue, the district has begun forwarding the emails to the county.

Cary does not feel as though the communication issues have hindered the process too greatly, and he said the district is continuing to use the vaccine priority list initially made by the school, working mainly with county officials to get vaccination slots.

“They’re doing a great job,” he said of county health officials.

In addition to discussing vaccine plans, the board also talked about summer construction plans for the CTE space at Cloquet High School, which may result in the temporary relocation of the Li'l Lumberjacks program.

Li'l Lumberjacks is a year-round childcare program located directly underneath the CTE space at the school. During construction, the program will most likely be relocated to another space in the high school, Cary said.

According to its website, Li'l Lumberjacks offers developmental programs for infants to preschool age children.

Cary said he does not foresee any major challenges with the relocation.

After receiving a $1.86 million bond for the project last month, district leaders are currently in the process of collecting construction bids.

The project is set to start immediately following the end of the academic year and should be completed before the 2021 fall semester.