Guam – The first of eight (8) scheduled half days for the Guam Department of Education (“GDOE”) will be held on Wednesday, September 24, 2014.
The half days were built into the school calendar to provide additional professional development time for teachers while meeting the required 180 days of instruction in Public Law 28-45. The additional professional development time provides all public schools designated time to focus on the implementation of the Common Core State Standards, formative assessment results for students and intervention strategies to best help students that fall below grade level expectations. GDOE Superintendent Jon Fernandez wanted to see the additional time built into the calendar. “Each year a number of schools request for half days at various times of the year to meet their needs,” said Fernandez. “By including the days in the calendar, schools no longer need to make those requests and everyone is on the same schedule.”
The scheduled half days for school year 2014-2015 are:
LATE START INSTEAD OF EARLY RELEASE
The half days that are included will be a late start instead of an early release meaning that schools will open three (3) hours later than normal on those days. Release time will remain the same for all schools. Using a late start allows all of the after school programs to continue as planned. Breakfast and lunch will still be served on those days as well. “One of the goals with scheduling the half days was to be minimally disruptive,” said Fernandez. “By starting late, we will still have all of our after school programs in full force. Students in after school sports and clubs won’t need to go home and then come back later, ASPIRE and Eskuelan Puengi can continue, it just made more sense.”
PARENTS REMINDED NO EARLY DROP OFF
It is extremely important for parents to know that the school gates will not be opened until one (1) hour prior to classes beginning. The faculty and staff at the schools will be engaged in professional development activities and unavailable for student supervision until one hour prior to classes. “We want to give families advanced notice about the scheduled half days so they can make necessary arrangements,” said Fernandez. “We worked with DPW and our GDOE support divisions to ensure services will continue. We ask that parents recognize the change in start time on these days and the time that the gates will be opened to ensure students are being supervised.