4 schools still in double sessions

PSS gets OIA funds for school repairs

Nearly seven months after Super Typhoon Yutu’s onslaught in late October 2018, four public school remain on double sessions, according to the Public School System.

Acting Education commissioner Lynnette Villagomez said the schools remaining on double sessions include Oleai Elementary School, San Vicente Elementary School, William S. Reyes Elementary School, and the Francisco M. Sablan Middle School.

“They will remain in double sessions for the remainder of the school year,” she noted. “While we are waiting for the buildings without roofs to be hardened, we are going to be receiving additional tents for these schools so that they can have temporary structures they can move into… to move into full-day sessions,” she continued.

Villagomez assured that all students eligible for graduation would be graduating on time—including those on double sessions.

“We extended the school day for them [so that] they have more hours instead of starting school early and ending at 2:30pm,” she said.

PSS also said it was successfully awarded $1 million in disaster-response money from a federal office in preparation for the upcoming school year 2019-2020.

Villagomez, in an interview, confirmed that the Office of Insular Affairs was able to award PSS with $1 million in grant money for school repairs that she noted would be used in preparation for the upcoming school year.

“…We need to follow the timeline of the Federal Emergency Management Agency so that we can make permanent repairs to our schools,” she said.

She noted that coordinating with FEMA allowed for the reinforcement of school campuses, including harder roofs; sturdier walls; and more.

“Following the FEMA schedule is critical so that we are eligible and [keep] the opportunity to use funds that are available [for repairs],” she said.

Erwin Encinares | Reporter
Erwin Charles Tan Encinares holds a bachelor’s degree from the Chiang Kai Shek College and has covered a wide spectrum of assignments for the Saipan Tribune. Encinares is the paper’s political reporter.
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