PSS withdrawals process starts

PSS notes possible relocation of some schools

The CNMI Public School System announced yesterday that it will start processing today students whose parents wish to withdraw them from some schools, while noting that some schools may have to be relocated.

In a statement disseminated yesterday, the CNMI state education agency said it would be processing withdrawals from PSS schools beginning today, at its offices on Capital Hill at Building Number 1211, from 9am through 3pm.

PSS said it would not be entertaining transfer requests or permitting new enrollments until all schools within the district have resumed classes.

In a separate statement last week, PSS expects classes to resume in about two to eight weeks, depending on the damage a school sustained from Super Typhoon Yutu.

PSS, working with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the Governor’s Office, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, and the American Red Cross, has shifted its efforts towards restoring power and water to schools, cleaning campuses, fixing repairable classrooms, and identifying temporary facilities to ensure that all schools are operational as soon as possible, with damage assessments completed.

“PSS maintains a conditional opening target for all Saipan and Tinian schools within seven weeks.

“As soon as a school is deemed safe and operational, classes will resume,” PSS noted, adding that school year 2018-2019 would be adjusted accordingly for each school, based on the school resumption date.

“Some schools will implement a double session schedule with four hours of instructional time allotted for each morning and afternoon session.

“While the recovery efforts continue, PSS warns that some schools may need to be relocated, or to at least share some campuses with other schools.

“Temporary structures will be added to some school sites to accommodate the student population.

“Sufficient transportation resources are readily available to support these conditions,” the statement noted.

In the meantime, all branches of distance education are temporarily suspended, PSS said.

The agency noted that information regarding the resumption of online coursework for students and personnel will be announced once plans are finalized.

PSS shelters continue

Several PSS campus cafeterias continue to provide shelter to those in need, even a week after the typhoon.

These evacuees, according to PSS, continue to receive non-potable water delivered regularly through the Department of Fire and Emergency Medical Services.

“Shelter residents are provided with meals three times daily by the America Red Cross,” PSS noted in its statement, adding that drinking water is also provided daily.

Of the activated PSS shelters, three have been identified as long-term shelters: Kagman Elementary School, Tanapag Middle School, and the Gregorio T. Camacho Elementary School.

For those in need of additional information, you may visit the PSS Commissioner’s office on Capital Hill, Building 1211, contact them through phone at 664-3845, or email them at info@cnmipss.org.

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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