Go back to 180 days or keep the 173 days?
Guam – Go back to 180 calendar days for Guam Department of Education schools or leave it at 173 days? Those are the two options their calendar committee is looking at for next school year.
The two options in detail are to either go back to the regular schedule which is 180 calendar days with two Professional Development days or keep it at 173 calendar days which adds more flexibility to add in Professional Development days. This current school year was shortened specifically for the Festival of the Pacific Arts. Other options included using other holidays, such as Columbus Day and President’s Day, and use it for either teacher training days or flexible make up days for the students if need be.
Guam Department of Education Deputy Superintendent Joe Sanchez says it’s a matter of coming to a fair solution where the students are not losing out on the quality of instruction while at the same time, teachers are not asked to work beyond what they’re paid for. Sanchez says they’re looking into a couple of factors including student instructional time. “It seems like the secondary schools, they’re not as affected as elementary schools because by definition, in the secondary schools, we use a unit which is 60 hours for half credit or 120 hours for full credit. With 180 days, we exceed that by how many days. Even if we keep cutting days, it’s okay. With elementary schools, it’s board policy 300 minutes, which is tight that’s what we added about 30 minutes into the school day to compensate for those missed days.”
Sanchez will be coming up with a proposal to keep the 173 days while Guam Federation of Teachers President Tim Fedenko will be preparing a proposal to go back to 180 days. The calendar committee will be meeting again next week for the presentation of the proposals.