The Dan Dan Middle School has two new classrooms that will be used for physical education and leadership core classes.
DMS principal James Sablan, who said it’s “always a blessing to have additional classrooms,” was joined by education officials and lawmakers at the ribbon-cutting ceremony last Jan. 8 that officially unveiled the new classrooms.
“It’s always great [to have new classroom] as it’s an investment in the community, in our students, in our future, in our Commonwealth, so I’m very happy and excited,” Sablan said.
The two classrooms will be able to accommodate a maximum of 25 students, but with the COVID-19 restrictions and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines, the classroom will be able to hold 15 students at a time right now.
Sablan said the classrooms will be used as soon as DMS welcomes back its students.
According to the Education Commissioner Dr. Alfred B. Ada of the Public School System, this project is part of efforts to enhance the quality of CNMI education.
“I’m very proud and very happy that everybody put all of their energy together, their great minds together, and envisioned a lasting place for our students. These buildings will last 40 years, maybe 50 years, and to know that we made it for them, it’s really quite an accomplishment,” said Ada.
Right now, blended learning is still a go for the upcoming third semester, Ada said. That means students will be going back to campus twice a week, and will be having online classes via Blackboard Ultra for the remaining school days.
“Bottom line is, we’re bringing everybody back to the campus, but with the COVID-19 protocols in place, we want to make sure that, again, safety is optimal [while] at the same time providing institutional quality education to our students,” said Ada.
The two new classroom were made possible through a Road Development grant, according to outgoing Board of Education chair Janice Tenorio, adding that, the buildings cost $750,000 to build. Tenorio’s last day as chairwoman was on Jan. 8, and the BOE will be selecting a new chairperson today.