GDOE considering pushing back start of new school year

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With classes just around the corner, the Guam Department of Education is considering pushing back the start of the next school year by a week.

While GDOE initially targeted August 11th to start classes, the agency is considering using that first week for professional development and pushing the start date to August 17th instead.

The agency also needs to secure protective equipment which are in high demand because of the COVID-19 pandemic and classes won’t start until GDOE has them.

GDOE Superintendent Jon Fernandez says that the training will be focused on safety protocols as well as other issues.

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“We want to make sure that we have some time to talk about the safety issues, the safety measures, the protocols, and responses. We want to make sure we do some training around distance learning as well as provide training about mental health and wellness. Those are the three pillars of our plan and we want to make sure that the teachers and staff who come back are feeling comfortable and are able to receive students back into our school facilities,” Fernandez said.

GDOE has collected around 16,000 responses from parents on preferred learning models for the new school year. According to current data, 71 percent of middle and high schoolers would like to learn from home through hardcopy or online lessons and 60 percent of elementary students would like to stay at home.

There are some schools that have stated a preference for face-to-face instruction rather than at-home learning.

A decision about delaying the school year won’t be made until the end of the month.

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