PSS: Schools may take 2 to 8 weeks to reopen

868 shelterees on Saipan; 64 on Tinian

It now looks like it would take much longer than just 14 days for public schools to open on Saipan and Tinian.

The Public School System’s initial assessments point toward shutting down schools on Saipan and Tinian for at least over 14 days, depending on the amount of damage sustained throughout the islands in the wake of Super Typhoon Yutu.

A week after Yutu’s landfall in the CNMI, PSS is still reeling from the over 180mph winds, which blew away roofs and ceilings from campus buildings.

According to PSS’ initial assessments, the continuation of classes on Saipan and Tinian schools may happen after about two to eight weeks due to the “extensive damage” to schools.

“The range of time is a result of varying levels of damage at each campus. Therefore, some schools are expected to open sooner than others,” said a PSS statement.

“The school year will be adjusted to accommodate for the instructional time lost for each school,” it added.

Schools on Rota, however, resumed instruction last Monday.

“Efforts are underway to get schools operational as soon as possible,” PSS noted, adding that it is working with the Office of the Governor, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the American Red Cross, the Marianas Young Professionals, and more.

PSS noted that classes would not resume until facilities are deemed safe and water is readily available, and advises the public to steer clear of PSS campuses on Saipan and Tinian for safety reasons.

Since classes are halted for the meantime, PSS advised 190-day certified employees to not report to work until further notice. All non-certified staff have begun reporting for work.

PSS schools and central office hours are limited to 8am to 3pm from Monday through Friday.

868 total shelterees in 8 shelters

PSS noted in their statement yesterday that there are 868 shelterees on Saipan and 64 shelterees on Tinian in campuses.

In preparation for Yutu, PSS activated Kagman High School, Koblerville Elementary School, Marianas High School, San Vicente Elementary School, Saipan Southern High School, Tinian Elementary School, Kagman Elementary School, and Dandan Head Start to provide shelter.

While all shelters are already at maximum capacity, PSS noted that only Kagman Elementary School and Dandan Head Start still has space for shelterees.

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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