Education chief confirms extension of school year due to hurricane disruptions
By The Star Staff
Education Secretary Eliezer Ramos Parés reiterated Monday that although the date to which the academic semester will be extended is not final and firm, he will have to extend it because of the school days that were lost as a result of Hurricane Fiona.
“I believe that in the situation we are in today, we cannot stop thinking about extending the school calendar,” Ramos Parés said at a press conference. “Undoubtedly, it is necessary; the evidence indicates it.”
He said Education officials will meet with the Puerto Rico Teachers Association to reach some understanding about the end of classes and make up for the days that were lost due to the Category 1 storm.
Ramos Parés said the agency is open to any creative idea that the teachers may offer to fulfill the required school hours.
He said the schools are divided into those that started classes six days after the hurricane, which would make up their school days on the dates set aside for administrative and professional development activities. Three days will be added to the calendar for those schools, which will culminate on June 9, 2023.
The second group, of more than 200 schools, which went without classes for up to 15 days, have the alternative of extending the calendar beyond June 9 or completing the teaching process with special work from home or extended hours at the schools.
Ramos Parés’ statements were made at the end of a meeting with Gov. Pedro Pierluisi Urrutia in which they discussed, among other issues, the process of repair and/or construction of new schools that have the so-called short column or that were impacted by the earthquakes of 2020.