Private schools consider transition to online

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Private schools are preparing to take their classes online to keep children and faculty safe in the event the CNMI experiences a COVID-19 outbreak.

In an interview with Galvin Deleon Guerrero, representative of private schools on the Board of Education and Mount Carmel School president, he said he and his team are discussing options on how to continue classes come March 30.

“There are some schools that are sticking to their commitment to reopen on March 30. Others have already begun conducting online classes” he said.

Deleon Guerrero said that he has set to meet with MCS officials to discuss the resumption of face-to-face classes on March 30.

Some schools are considering a hybrid system, Deleon Guerrero said, which means some classes will be online and some will be in person while also observing social distancing.

Green Meadow School’s online classes started on Monday, while Saipan Community School has been conducting distance learning since last week.

Last Monday, MCS teachers started undergoing training for the online class transition in the event online classes is the route MCS decides to take.

“We are walking all our teachers through the four digital tools that we will be using to make sure that they know them well. Many of our teachers use many different digital resources. But we want to have a standardized set of tools that we are going to use with all our students so that parents can follow along,” he said. Among the tools that MCS will use are Edmodo, Zoom, Khan Academy, and Achieve3000.

Majority of MCS teachers have already been certified by the Education Technology Program, Deleon Guerrero said.

According to Saipan Tribune archives, the Public School System will implement online classes come April 1 as part of precautionary measures to limit the potential spread of COVID-19 and promote social distancing in the CNMI.

Education Commissioner Dr. Alfred Ada said classroom instruction will be moved online for the remainder of the school year as part of PSS’ efforts to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in campuses.

All schools will remain closed until the COVID-19 threat dies down.

The CNMI PSS Distance Education Program was established nearly 10 years ago. PSS is the first in the Pacific region to develop a curriculum-based online classroom learning.

Kimberly Bautista | Reporter
Kimberly Albiso Bautista has covered a wide range of news beats, including the community, housing, crime, and more. She now covers sports for the Saipan Tribune. Contact her at kimberly_bautista@saipantribune.com.
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