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Pacific Horizons first school to open doors for new school year

Teacher and students all with masks on, sitting on the floor during a learning exercise.

Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — Pacific Horizons School (PHS) at Ottoville started its new school year — 2020-2021— last Wednesday, Aug. 12th.  The private school is the first school in the territory to open for the new school year.

PHS had put out information about its opening in advance on their Facebook page and also used other means of communication to explain what’s expected in the new school year.

Public on its website (, is the Pacific Horizons School’s “Distance Learning Plan” for their new school year and Samoa News understands that the plan has also been shared with the ASG Education Department and other ASG officials.

“PHS’s distance learning goal is to provide quality instruction and learning that is appropriate and manageable for our students, parents, and teachers,” said the message on the distance learning plan.

It explains that elementary grades (K4-5) will begin all instruction this 2020-21 school year face-to-face whereas “some of our middle and high school classes will be delivered remotely from the start.”

 “In the event it is necessary to move the entire school to full-time distance learning, our aim is to be able to do so in 4 school days. The school is working towards having the ability to provide a laptop or iPad to every PHS student,” the statement says. “This is being made possible with grant money from the [federal] CARES Act.”

As previously reported by Samoa News all CARES Act money for all schools in American Samoa was awarded through the ASG Education Department, as the State Agency, which then distributed the funds to private schools, under provisions of the CARES Act for Education Stabilization Grant Fund. During a House Committee hearing last month, Education director Dr. Ruth Matagi-Tofiga also shared with lawmakers such information.

Each private school has already submitted to ASDOE their plans for this federal funding and it is posted on the ASDOE website ( as required by grantor, the US Department of Education.

For Pacific Horizons School, its plan was submitted to Matagi-Tofiga on June 6th.

This Pacific Horizons School photo shared on its Facebook page shows elementary students and their instructor on the first day of school with everyone wearing face-masks.