5 schools OK’d for face-to-face instruction

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Posted on Sep 11 2020

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Five more schools have been cleared to resume face-to-face classes by the Governor’s COVID-19 Task Force, in partnership with the Bureau of Environmental Health.

BEH has inspected Isla Montessori, Eucon School, Mount Carmel School, and Seventh-Day Adventist School and they all passed the compliance requirements for social distancing and sanitation

In August, BEH assessed and approved the Northern Marianas College, Saipan International School, Saipan Community School, Grace Christian Academy, and Brilliant Star Montessori to reopen for in-person instruction. Since then, BEH said that these schools have adjusted and put more additional measures to be sure that there’s safety in the classroom.

At Mount Carmel School, they have implemented the 6-foot distance and have put up plexiglass in each desk. BEH also confirmed that some private schools have also done the same and also installed UV disinfections. BEH will inspect two more private schools.

BEH is currently waiting on the Public School System’s call and to submit their plans for reopening their schools for face-to-face classes. On the first week of the PSS school year last Tuesday, Education Commissioner Dr. Alfred Ada inspected schools to ensure that they are following the task force’s protocols for face-to-face classes. In an interview with Ada, he said that all principals and teachers are working together in preparing the schools and the classrooms for inspection.

“Inspection is our guiding force. All our school staff are working to be compliant with the government’s COVID-19 safety regulations. We don’t want to be denied our opening, even for some selected students that need additional support through face-to-face instruction,” said Ada,

He said they are scheduled for inspection this September. Even if schools are encouraged to facilitate distance/online learning, the amended government emergency directives state that all public and private schools are allowed to resume in-person instruction and activities—subject to the review and approval of operation plans and site assessments by the task force, Community Healthcare Corp. and the Department of Public Works.

Justine Nauta
Justine Nauta is Saipan Tribune's community and health reporter and has covered a wide range of news beats, including the Northern Marianas College and Commonwealth Health Care Corp. She's currently pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Rehabilitation and Human Services at NMC.

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