SIS reevaluates reopening plan

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Posted on Aug 21 2020

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Saipan International School is reevaluating its preparedness plan following their campus opening last Monday due to newly reported COVID-19 cases and in response to reports of community transmission of the virus.

In a notice he issued Wednesday, SIS headmaster Ron Snyder notified about their plan to reevaluate opening up the campus to face-to-face learning.

“I have been really happy to see the students again on campus with their smiling faces, even if some of the faces have been hidden by masks. With the two new outbreaks in the community, we are reevaluating our preparedness and making plans to provide you the excellent education that you expect from us in an alternative format,” he said.

Snyder said the plan is to possibly provide education remotely or through online classes, or partial online and partial face-to-face. “That might mean online, partial online, alternative settings, etc. In any case, SIS considers the online format a temporary solution until community spread is controlled,” he said.

Even with online learning, students would still have to follow the regular school schedule, Snyder said.

“We will be using an improved GeckoNet system this year as well as a greatly enhanced Zoom platform. Students will follow their daily schedule on Zoom just as they would in the face to face class. The same time, the same bell schedule. Teachers will be using this format to deliver instruction from the campus and GeckoNet to collect all assignments. SIS prides itself on its professionalism and we will continue this in whatever format we use. Our commitment to you is that we will not use tools that were designed to supplement instruction to be the whole basis for instruction,” he said.

Snyder said the SIS leadership will meet to discuss the situation and contact the Governor’s COVID-19 Task Force for guidance to prioritize the health of students.

“The school leadership will meet tomorrow [yesterday’s time] to discuss the situation and will attempt to contact Public Health, the COVID-19 Task Force, and the Department of Public Works for guidance in supporting our students’ health and education,” he said.

Currently, the only other educational institution that continues to hold face-to-face learning is Saipan Community School. Mount Carmel School, Northern Marianas College, and Green Meadow have also resumed classes but are currently 100% remote 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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