GDOE Faces Graduation Dilemma for High Schools Housing FestPac Delegates


GDOE is still trying to figure out the school housing situation, but now, they also have to find out how they’re going to accommodate high school graduations during Fest Pac.

Guam – While the Festival of the Pacific Arts housing situation remains in limbo, the Guam Department of Education is faced with another challenge of hosting graduation activities while their campuses are supposed to be closed to the public.


GDOE Superintendent Jon Fernandez says, “The discussion yesterday was about accommodating graduation practices because the recent decision was made to ensure as much as possible that the housing are close campuses. No one would have access to those sites besides the housed delegates and the staff.”

Out of the eight schools set to house the incoming FestPac delegates, four are high schools which are now faced with the graduation dilemma. The schools are Tiyan, Okkodo, Southern and JFK. Fernandez says they met with the Guam Education Board and Fest Pac officials to iron out plans for housing accommodations and graduation activities for the four schools. 

“The discussion yesterday was to figure out alternatives or ways to provide access to students who will be graduating even just to the gym, so we can accommodate graduating practices prior to the ceremony. At Tiyan and Southern, making accommodations for the graduation day,” he says. 

Fernandez explains that Tiyan and Southern High will be holding their graduation at their gym, while Okkodo High and JFK will be graduating at the University of Guam Field House. However, all four will need to use their gyms for graduation practices.
“Hopefully we can get a final decision and that’ll allow us to mobilize and plan accordingly. Right now, we would be closing on the 20th which is the same day the delegates are to arrive. Those details weren’t really known when the board made its initial decision last summer but now that we know those details we asked for those extra couple of days to make sure we’re ready,” he explains. 
Although there is no final decision yet, Fernandez is confident that the schools will be ready. He says, “There are still issues that we still need to work out a lot of the details but I’m assuring the board we’ll be ready but give us a couple extra days which may mean ending the school year earlier for the eight schools that we’ll be using.”
Meanwhile, GDOE will be conducting a parent survey to find out how parents feel about all schools being released on May 17th.