FMS and San Antonio Head Start closed on Thursday; DPS to charge PSS for ‘non-essential activities’

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DUE to the safety situation in San Antonio and Afetna, Francisco Sablan Middle School and the San Antonio Head Start Center will remain closed on Thursday.

Commissioner on Education Dr. Alfred Ada said he has activated the Public School System’s safe and orderly committee to assess the situation at FMS and Head Start Center in light of a hostage situation in the San Antonio/Afetna area that remained unresolved as of Wednesday afternoon.

Francisco Sablan Middle School and San Antonio Head Start Center were closed on Wednesday.

“PSS is encountering overlapping disasters,” Ada told reporters.

All southern schools — William S. Reyes Elementary School, Hopwood Middle School, Saipan Southern High School and Koblerville Elementary School — will remain open, but students will not be picked up or dropped off at the bus stop across from the Afetna area.

DPS charges

Ada at the same time said his office received a letter from the Department of Public Safety, informing PSS that DPS will charge for all non-essential services it provides the school system.

“I forwarded the letter to the Board of Education and I am waiting for [its] reply,” Ada said.

On March 6, 2020, DPS Commissioner Robert A. Guerrero informed Ada that for all non-essential activities requested by PSS, it will be charged $47 an hour per officer.

The non-essential services include traffic controls at intersections, motorcades, and traffic monitoring during marathons/walkathons and other activities.

“For the past years, DPS has been providing assistance to your agency for non-essential services…such supports were at no cost to your agency,” the letter stated.

“As we all know, all of us have been encountering issues with the limited resources we have. The Department of Public Safety is no exception to the limited resources, both financially and with personnel. Somehow and somewhere, we have to make ends meet to cover those shortfalls,” Guerrero said.

He added that the charge will cover the cost of the officers’ salary, equipment, fuel, and vehicle cost including maintenance.

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