Fernandez: GDOE and DODEA are two different institutions

GDOE Superintendent Jon Fernandez (PNC file photo)

Guam Department of Education stakeholders are curious about the status of DODEA schools since their re-opening in October and how they compare to GDOE’s reopening plans.

Families have questioned how DODEA was able to open up their schools and if GDOE will model its face-to-face instruction plan with DODEA’s plan.

GDOE Superintendent Jon Fernandez says although there are many similarities with DODEA’s face-to-face instruction model with the ones they currently have in place, GDOE and DODEA are two different institutions.

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“One of the things that’s driving DODEA’s reopening plans is the fact that a high number of parents want their students back in school for face-to-face instruction. I think we were hearing up the 90% range whereas with our stakeholders, when we polled our stakeholders in the summer, we only had 30% to 40% that wanted to come back face to face,” Fernandez said.

However, the Superintendent reassures that all three options of learning will still be available to families even as GDOE continues to work on prepping campuses for face-to-face instruction.

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“The first thing is that we’re (GDOE) giving parents a choice, we’re giving students a choice. We’re not forcing them back. There may be other jurisdictions saying we’re not giving any options to come back, we still plan to give our parents options for face to face instructions, or, if not, distance learning and we’ll basically try to accommodate those preferences,” Fernandez said.

GDOE also met with Gail Wiley, Community Superintendent for DODEA. who shared their school re-opening experience.

Fernandez says GDOE will compare and use some of these ideas with the hope of strengthening their school operation plans.