The CNMI Public School System announced yesterday a target re-opening date of Dec. 3 on Saipan and Nov. 26 on Tinian.
In a video message posted on the agency’s social media page, interim Education commissioner Glenn Muña announced the resumption of classes on Saipan starting Dec. 3 and on Tinian starting Nov. 26, despite previously announcing that schools might take two to eight weeks to recover from Super Typhoon Yutu.
He reiterated in the video that both dates are only target dates.
On Tinian, classes at the Tinian Elementary School, Tinian Jr/Sr High School, and Tinian Headstart are set to resume on Nov. 26, 2018.
On Saipan, where some schools sustained heavy damage almost to the point of complete destruction, Muña noted a target date of Dec. 3.
“My promise to you is that, as soon as a school is deemed safe for our children, classes will resume,” said Muña.
He noted that the school calendar for both islands would be adjusted to ensure that seniors would graduate on time.
Muña said that schools, once operational, would be open half-day only, with some schools having double sessions to catch up. Double sessions of classes are divided into morning and afternoon sessions.
While some schools would require relocation and consolidation with other schools, Muña noted that a possible setup would be to hold morning and afternoon classes for two different schools each.
Muña said that PSS is coordinating with the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to procure temporary structures capable of providing a classroom for campuses that were heavily damaged.
“The work to get the school up and running before the deadline is going to be challenging, so we support those willing to lend a hand,” Muña said.
To those interested helping PSS, visit the PSS HR office on Capitol Hill to sign a volunteer form. “…It has been just over a couple of weeks since the storm passed and already there are so many activities to draw hope from. The smiles, the acts of kindness, the generosity, the collaboration, the volunteerism, and the sense of community far outshines the destruction caused by Yutu,” Muña said.