Pequot Lakes School Board: 60% of staff had to quarantine, superintendent says

Pequot Lakes Superintendent Chris Lindholm told the school board that during the fall semester, 33 school staff members tested positive for COVID-19, but 157 staff members had been forced to quarantine

Pequot-Lakes-School-winter.jpg file photo

In his address at the Pequot Lakes School Board’s December meeting, Superintendent Chris Lindholm said that during the fall semester, 33 school staff members tested positive for COVID-19, but 157 staff members - roughly 60% of all school employees - had been forced to quarantine at some point during the school year so far.

The district moved to full distance learning in November, but that is expected to change after Christmas break.

“(Staff on quarantine) has made in-person learning pretty much impossible,” Lindholm said. “We hit a wall in mid-November … I’m happy to say that on Friday afternoon (Dec. 11), the Department of Health approved my request to allow us to bring students back into the hybrid model in January, as long as we have mapped out a staggered transition back. They were insisting that we don’t just bring everyone back, but rather stagger it to try to collect better local data every step of the way.”

Lindholm said the tentative plan is to bring back grades K-6 on Monday, Jan. 11, and have the older grades back two weeks later.

During the Monday, Dec. 14, meeting, the board approved its final levy for 2021. During the coming year, the district will operate with a total tax levy of $6,092,278, which is an increase of $17,920 (0.3%) from the previous year. The total general fund balance is set at $2,954,168 and the debt service fund is at $2,924,525.


In other action, the board:

  • Approved a motion to provide all district employees with their emergency paid sick leave balance from the Families First Coronavirus Response Act - which is set to expire on Dec. 30 - through June 30, 2021.

  • Accepted six donations to the district totaling $720, along with 10 donations to the student activity fund account totaling $840.

The meeting was the last for Brandon Andersen, who has served as an interim board member for the past two meetings following the resignation of board member Mike Erholtz. Andersen previously served on the board from 2011 to 2018.
“It has been fun to see your face again and have you be part of our group,” Board Chair Kim Bolz-Andolshek said to Andersen. “I know it was unique and we appreciate you stepping in.”

Newly elected member Amy Sjoblad will take his place beginning with the board’s reorganizational meeting Monday, Jan. 4.

Dan Determan may be reached at 218-855-5879 or Follow him on Facebook and on Twitter at

Dan Determan has been a reporter for the Echo Journal since 2014, primarily covering sports at Pequot Lakes and Pine River-Backus
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