FestPac Housing in Limbo


The decision is put on hold.

Guam – There was no decision made as to whether or not the eight schools that will be housing the incoming delegates from the Festival of the Pacific Arts will be released earlier than the proposed date of May 20th.


GDOE Superintendent Jon Fernandez says, “Right now, because the board did not act on the changes, that means all students get out on the 20th and all teachers get out on June 2. It’s very important to recognize that unless we make those changes, it’ll make FestPac impossible from the standpoint of providing housing.”

Those eight schools are: Agueda Johnston, Astumbo Middle, JFK, Okkodo High, Jose Rios Middle, Southern High, Tiyan High, and Untalan Middle.

Fernandez proposed changes to the current school year to accommodate however, the proposal was tabled at last night’s Guam Education Board meeting. “What I was asking them for was to allow for two extra days for the eight schools that were going to be affected by Fest Pac and release students on May 17 for those schools. The rest of the schools I propose to keep until May 20th,” he says.

The reason being, Fernandez explains, is that the rest of the schools are mostly elementary schools. Then for teachers, he proposes to release them on May 23rd, which will also be a teacher work day. He advises the board to make a decision soon. They will be holding a special meeting next week.

However, the board did approve school calendars 2016-17 and 2017-18, which means having 173 school days and nine professional development days. Fernandez simply pointed out the changes. “So I think the only adjustment is that slightly shorter elementary school days. The nine full day professional days will be spread throughout the calendar year, not at the end of the year like this school year. I think that’s a more effective way to do professional development days,” he says.

In regards to Fest Pac, GDOE is faced with another challenge: manpower. Fernandez explains that the Fest Pac delegates will be using up 270 classrooms.

He says, “So as you can tell, 270 rooms, we’re going to need a lot of people over those two days that we hopefully will get to be able to move the equipment out, clean the rooms, and to move any equipment in that will be needed for the delegates.”

Fernandez says they’re still working out the kinks when it comes to housing. Meanwhile, they’re waiting on the board to make a decision about the proposed schedule change.