PSS classes suspended until March 30

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PUBLIC school classes will remain suspended until March 30, Commissioner on Education Dr. Alfred Ada said on Monday after a meeting with school principals and vice principals.

“We are suspending our services until March 30, that means no classes at all, not even distance education,” Ada said in an interview.

“Between now and March 30, that is enough quarantine time — 14 days for students and personnel who travelled from Guam,” he added.

According to Ada, the Public School System has identified the over 200 students and teachers who went to Guam to compete in the Tumon Bay Music Festival on Feb. 27 to March 7, and in Chamorro Language & Cultural Performing Arts Competition on March 9 to 10.

“Those staff and students are now on self-quarantine,” Ada added.

When Guam announced three confirmed cases of Covid-19 infection on Sunday, he said he decided to be “on the safe side.”

“I want us to be safe,” he added.

In a letter to parents, Ada reassured them that PSS is implementing precautionary measures to ensure the safety of students and its staff members.

“We are exploring methods to ensure that teaching and learning can take place while services are suspended or interrupted. Your child will be receiving enrichment activities while we plan for other alternatives should we have to resort to long-term suspension of classes,” Ada told the parents.

Regarding the loss of two weeks of instructional time for students, Ada said he has reached out to the U.S. Department of Education.

“They are sending me information regarding school closures,” he added. “We are looking at two school models right now, but implementing them does require the Board of Education’s approval.”

As part of the government’s austerity measures, the BOE has approved a four-day class schedule for all public schools starting in April.

Ada said letters will be sent out to parents to inform them what they need to do to address Covid-19 concerns. These include staying home if you are sick, protecting yourself and others by practicing social distancing, washing your hands, and cleaning and disinfecting your spaces.

PSS will share more information through official media outlets, Ada said.

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