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PSS to conduct hybrid remote/onsite classes

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THE Public School System will provide a hybrid approach — combined remote and face-to-face instruction —  to over 10,000 students when schools reopen on Sept. 8.

This will “ensure optimum safety while student learning continues” as the CNMI maintains its fight against the spread of Covid-19, Commissioner of Education Dr. Alfred Ada said in a presentation during a recent Board of Education meeting.

Ada said the hybrid approach is designed to mitigate the public school students’ vulnerability  to Covid-19 exposure, by providing  combined remote (online) and face-to-face learning mechanisms. The percentage of each type of instruction will vary depending on the Covid-19 condition in the CNMI.

Instructional hours are still being finalized, Ada told Variety.

He also said that PSS has identified 6,000 families with no internet connection at home. When the new school year begins, he said PSS will be “equipped to support students who lack the technology resources at home.”

 Ada said schools will also emphasize social emotional learning. “Kids need a clear understanding of what is happening during this Covid-19 pandemic.”

He said PSS wants to help students manage their stress and relationships to increase their ability to learn.

For the students who will avail themselves of face-to-face instruction, school buses will continue to provide transportation with social distancing measures in place.  Parents are encouraged to regularly monitor their children’s health. If feeling unwell, children should stay home.

To ensure everyone’s safety, there will be regular temperature screening for all students and staff,  Ada said, adding that students with a temperature of 100.3F and above will not be allowed to board the bus or attend school.

As for the Child Nutrition Program, Ada said all students will continue to receive meal services whether they attend classes remotely or onsite.

PSS, he added, will utilize Blackboard as its learning management system. Teachers will undergo training in August to prepare their virtual classrooms using the web-based learning tool.

Ada said hybrid learning — combined remote and face-to-face instruction — will allow students to continue learning.

Instruction will focus on priority standards and school work to minimize instructional loss and ensure continued learning, Ada added.

He said students and families will be provided support to ensure that they are connected to their schools and have adequate access.

PSS also aims to establish adequate infrastructure and protocols to minimize vulnerability and ensure the safety of all staff and students, Ada added.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

November 2020 pssnewsletter

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