Preparations are now in full swing for the newly renamed Chacha Oceanview Middle School and at the Kagman Elementary School, with the former accommodating students in grades 6, 7, and 8 and the latter holding classes for kindergarten to grade 5 students.
The reconfiguration now allows Kagman Elementary to provide full-time, full-day kindergarten classes.
Classes in public schools will begin on Sept. 3, a Tuesday.
The Board of Education approved the merger proposal early this month, kicking off the first phase of the plan: the reconfiguration of the two Kagman schools.
According to Chacha Oceanview Middle School principal Vince Dela Cruz and Kagman Elementary principal Ruth Calvo, several activities have been lined up for both schools in the coming days. They urged parents to participate in these school-related activities to ensure a smooth opening of the new school year.
“We have organized activities that will ensure that our parents will be informed of the [middle school concept] and it is on this note that their continued support and participation are sought,” said Dela Cruz.
Calvo said it is essential that the public is made aware of “what to expect” come opening of classes in public schools.
“To enable our continuing students and those that are newly enrolled to take advantage of the quality education that our schools provide, we are once again reaching out to our partners, our parents, to please join us on this day,” she said.
Last Friday, a joint meeting for parents of students of both schools was held at Chacha Oceanview Middle School. Parents were briefed on what to expect once classes open next month. Incoming sixth graders and their parents were also given a tour of the “new” campus.
“I like it. This is certainly a great move centralizing our schools here in Kagman,” said mother Lucy Castro, who was accompanied by her three children. Another excited parent, Ruth Aldan, expressed support for the reconfiguration of the two schools.
Yoshi DLG. Aldan and Caroline Castro, both incoming 6th grade students at Chacha Middle School, said they are excited to begin classes with fellow middle school students.
“During the meeting, we were told by [our incoming] principal Vince Dela Cruz that there are several clubs and programs that we can participate in here at Chacha. And I am just very excited [knowing] that they have everything here,” said Castro, who wants to be a member of the National Junior Honor Society and the Youth Advisory Panel.
Calvo said that Kagman Elementary will hold its parent orientation for kindergarten to grade 3 on Aug. 27, from 9am to 10am; and its parent orientation for grades 4 to 5 on Aug. 28, from 9am to 10am. Registration is ongoing for the pioneering full-day kindergarten classes.
At Chacha Oceanview Middle School, parent orientation will be on Aug. 28, from 9:30am to 11am. The school’s registration is ongoing.
Both principals urged parents and community members to make sure that all registration forms are updated. These include contact numbers, health cards, and other important information. Student class schedules will be issued during the first day of school, Sept. 3. Parents and guardians are also advised to fill out the free meal forms.
The middle school concept came into being primarily as part of the PSS management’s plan to reallocate resources within the school district, reduce large student numbers at Hopwood Jr. High School, and to align the CNMI Public School System with the trends in middle level education composed of Grades 6 through 8.
According to Education Commissioner Rita A. Sablan, Ed.D., these moves will have a positive impact within the school district.
Three critical areas have been identified where the concept is expected to work: 1) Reduce student enrollment at Hopwood Jr. High by 50 percent; 2) Establish middle schools within school communities similar to elementary schools, and 3) Student aged 11-13 parallels the period of human growth and development between childhood and adolescence.