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Covid-19 Task Force inspects Mount Carmel School facilities

Community Bulletin
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(MCS) — On Tuesday, July 21, 2020, Mount Carmel School welcomed the Governor’s Covid-19 Task Force to its campus to inspect and evaluate the school’s preparation efforts prior to the new school year.

Mount Carmel School is scheduled to open on Thursday, Aug. 6, 2020.

Prior to the Covid-19 Task Force visit, Mount Carmel School worked diligently throughout the summer to secure ample safety and sanitation equipment in order to resume face-to-face and online classes. Additionally, the school made many adjustments to its facilities and school policies and procedures to adhere to the “best practices” shared by the Governor’s Covid-19 Task Force, the Commonwealth Healthcare Corporation, as well as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

 

 

On Tuesday, July 21, 2020, Mount Carmel School welcomed the Governor’s Covid-19 Task Force to its campus to evaluate the school’s preparation efforts prior to the start of the new school year. Mount Carmel School is scheduled to open on Thursday, Aug. 6, 2020. In the photo, from left,  Warren Villagomez, Covid-19 Task Force chairman; Dr. Galvin Deleon Guerrero, MCS president; Bobby Baldazo, school vice principal; Francis Taimanao, school principal; Benjamin Babauta Sr., MCS board chairman; and John Blanco, business manager. MCS photo

On the morning of the site visit, members of Mount Carmel School’s Leadership Team met with the chairman of the Covid-19 Task Force, Warren Villagomez. During the tour, Villagomez was presented with two sample classrooms for inspection and discussed Mount Carmel School’s adjusted safety policies and procedures to mitigate viral transmission.

During the meeting, Mount Carmel School assured  Villagomez that the school will follow the CNMI Policies and Procedures for Covid-19 Prevention and Control in Educational Institutions. As part of the current policies and procedures in place, MCS redesigned its classrooms to ensure six feet of physical distance between desks that will have plexiglass cubicles as an additional precaution.

Teachers, staff, students, and on campus guests will be required to wear face masks or shields. Should an individual lack a face mask, a disposable mask will be provided. Each classroom will also be equipped with disposable face masks for students. Proper hand-washing and hygiene will be taught and reinforced by all our teachers, and hand sanitizers will be readily available in all classrooms.

Once on campus, students will remain in the same classroom all day. Junior high and high school students will remain in their classrooms and teachers will move to those classrooms for different subjects.

Classrooms will be cleaned and disinfected twice a day, once in the morning before students and teachers arrive and once after students and teachers leave. Common areas, like restrooms, the cafeteria, and offices, will be cleaned more frequently throughout the day. To ensure the efficacy of this process, Mount Carmel School has contracted the same cleaning company that services the Commonwealth Healthcare Corp. MCS has also procured UV lighting equipment that will further disinfect the circulated air in classrooms and common areas. Lunch and recess will also be held indoors and meals will be brought to each classroom.

During morning drop off, MCS will have two open stations, one at the gym and one at the Maturana driveway. For each station, students are to remain in their vehicles until allowed to exit by school officials.

Once a student or family of students exits their vehicle, they will be placed in a physically distanced line through which they will be guided towards screening points to take temperature and assess other symptoms. Once cleared, the student will proceed directly to their classroom.

For the lower grade-levels, only one parent may accompany their child to their classroom, but will not be permitted to stay inside or outside the class. After escorting their child, parents must immediately return to their vehicles to prevent congregating.

For afternoon pick up, MCS will have three pick-up stations, one at the gym, one at the Maturana driveway, and one at the elementary entrance. Parents and families will not be permitted to exit their vehicles. Instead, school personnel will utilize a digital ticketing system to take student names, summon those students, and line them up following the six-feet floor markers on the ground.

During drop-off and pick-up times, the business office and main office will be closed to relieve congestion and allow staff to assist with supervision.

If any individual on campus shows symptoms of Covid-19, that individual will be escorted to a waiting room as advised by the Covid-19 Task Force from where they will wait to leave campus. Physical distancing will be ensured within that room, hand sanitizers will be available, and the room will be deep cleaned and disinfected after each use. The room will be situated to allow for adequate supervision.

If there is a confirmed case on campus, that classroom cohort will be shut down and everyone in that area will transition to fully remote learning. If more than one case is confirmed on campus, the entire school will be shut down and everyone will transition to fully remote learning.

After the site visit, Villagomez shared, “I visited the campus, saw the classrooms, and based on Mount Carmel School’s holistic efforts, all the measures in place for student safety are being adhered to and will be followed.”

Villagomez continued, “From the standard expectations like masks and hand sanitizers to the facility adjustments like the plexi-glass, UV air sanitizers, and floor markings I want to say that MCS is a model private school that other private schools should look at, seek guidance, and follow suit. Of course, this is all in service of our efforts to minimize and mitigate the Covid-19 risk in the CNMI.”

Mount Carmel School President Galvin Deleon Guerrero, EdD, expressed his appreciation for the task force. “Thus far, the Governor’s Covid-19 Task Force has done an incredible job of keeping our islands safe, so we appreciate all that they have done and continue to do.” He added, “The feedback from Mr. Villagomez is crucial to our next steps leading up to the start of the school year. We are grateful for the time he’s given to ensure we will keep everyone in our school family safe when we reopen.”

Although seats are limited, Mount Carmel School is accepting applications for specific grade levels. To submit an application, visit Mount Carmel School’s website at www.mountcarmelsaipan.com

 

 

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