GCA, MCS temporarily shift to online learning

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GRACE Christian School and Mount Carmel School are temporarily shifting to online learning.

Grace Christian Academy teacher Susan Pajarillaga writes an equation on a whiteboard while conducting an online class for her students.  Contributed photo

“We are 100% online right now,” GCA principal Beth Nunez said, adding that the school started the transition on Monday.

“There will be no face-to-face instruction until, at least, April 10,” she added. “I told our parents that we are going to listen to our government officials and the medical community and observe social distancing. We will make our next decision known before the 10th.”

In transitioning to online learning, Nunez said they have devised many plans to cater to their 300 students.

These include conducting a hybrid class — part online and part in the classroom, but not everyone will be in the classroom.

Nunez said online classes are different, but “I am very proud of our teachers and thankful for them because they are really doing a great job providing online instruction and even communicating online with the kids.”

Meanwhile, she said, GCA is disinfecting the entire campus.


Also on Thursday, Mount Carmel School announced it will transition to online learning starting Monday, March 30.

“The decision was reached to ensure the safety of students, faculty, staff, and the broader community as part of the CNMI’s containment and mitigation efforts against the spread of the Covid-19 virus,” MCS institutional development director Victoria C. Deleon Guerrero said.

MCS tentatively scheduled the resumption of face-to-face classes for April 13, 2020. “We will continue to monitor the data and information provided by public health officials,” Deleon Guerrero said.

MCS president Dr. Galvin Deleon Guerrero emphasized the need to continue learning while keeping everyone safe. “During this time of uncertainty, we need to ensure the certainty of continued learning and continued safety,” he said, adding that MCS teachers are ready to reconnect with their students.

MCS teachers, he added, have been certified by the EdTech cohort program. MCS faculty members “participated in rigorous training earlier this week to prepare them and their students to transition online. The school has identified four primary tools that the school will use for all students, which include Zoom, Edmodo, Achieve3000, and Khan Academy,” he said.

To ensure that students have the materials they need to engage in online learning, families may come to the campus to pick up their children’s textbooks, personal items from classrooms, and lockers.

To observe social distancing, MCS has devised the following schedule for parents:

Monday, March 30

7:30 a.m. to 9 a.m.

K4 and 6th grade

9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.

K5 and 7th grade

10:30 a.m. to 12 noon

1st grade and 8th grade

1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.

2nd grade and 9th grade

Tuesday, March 31

7:30 a.m. to 9 a.m.

3rd grade and 10th grade

9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.

4th grade and 11th grade

10:30 a.m. to 12 noon

5th grade and seniors

Homeroom teachers will be available to provide access to classrooms and lockers and school staff and administrators will be on hand to enforce social distancing measures, MCS said.

“If a family wishes to pick up materials for students in multiple grade levels they may do so, as long they comply with social distancing protocols.”

MCS also announced that third-quarter report cards will be distributed through email on Wednesday, April 1, 2020.

“All assemblies and student activities are also suspended until further notice. However, MCS is exploring other options for major school events that were scheduled this year,” the school stated.

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