BOE meeting today to discuss remote learning; PSS shares survey results
Beginning yesterday, Dec. 6, and until Dec. 23—comprising 14 days of class instruction—there will be no in-person classes for all Public School System schools on Saipan, Rota, and Tinian.
In a decision the PSS leadership announced Monday night, it said all PSS schools will transition to and continue instruction through online learning through Blackboard Ultra during this period.
“This decision has been carefully assessed by the PSS leadership and school administration,” said acting Education commissioner Dr. Rizalina M. Liwag in a Dec. 5 letter to parents and PSS stakeholders.
This decision is in line with Gov. Ralph DLG Torres’ Dec. 5 directive that ordered the closure of non-essential government offices and put in place temporary restrictions for COVID-19 safety reasons effective Dec. 6 to Dec. 19.
Liwag wrote that PSS “continues its commitment to keep the public informed regarding the health and safety of students and staff” and that all PSS offices will remain open during this time. PSS Central Offices will remain open as well, with staff working on staggered schedules based on supervisor approval, Liwag added.
Liwag also advised parents to consult their children’s schools directly for remote learning schedules and that all PSS extracurricular activities and scheduled events are suspended until further notice.
Liwag assured that PSS is doing all it can to “provide a safe environment for our children to learn and grow”, and will keep its stakeholders updated as circumstances change.
“We highly encourage you to take action to help limit the spread of COVID-19, even if your child is not experiencing symptoms. …Rest assured that your child’s and family’s health is our priority,” wrote Liwag.
For those who feel the need to reach out for help, Liwag encouraged emailing email@example.com.
Today, Dec. 7, the CNMI Board of Education will be holding an emergency meeting via Google’s teleconference platform Google Meet at 2:30pm. On the board’s agenda, the lone item under “New Business” is “Remote Learning.” The link to virtually attend is meet.google.com/pye-xggq-ubv.
Separately, on Nov. 30, PSS published the results of three surveys: a PSS students and families survey, a PSS parents and guardians survey, and a PSS teachers and staff survey. The Facebook posts sharing the survey results can be found at https://www.facebook.com/cnmipss.
Commonalities among these three surveys include calls for mandating COVID-19 screening for PSS students and staff; a need to provide data and information on safety measures, COVID-19 screening and vaccinations; and a need for safety measures for unvaccinated children.
In all three surveys, most of the respondents were fully vaccinated and reported that their mental health to an extent has been negatively affected during the pandemic. However, a majority of the respondents for the three respective surveys reported that they know how to access mental health help through PSS if/ when they need it.
Saipan Tribune tried to obtain comments from BOE chair Andrew L. Orsini yesterday but was unable to receive a response as of press time.