GDOE looks to reopen schools for in-person instruction on Jan. 11

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During last night's Guam Education Board meeting, Education Superintendent Jon Fernandez reported on the factors that would determine the reopening of schools.

GDOE says public school students may return to school for in-person instruction on January 11.

During last night’s Guam Education Board meeting, Education Superintendent Jon Fernandez reported on the factors that would determine the reopening of schools.

He went through the school readiness checklist, reporting that several items have already been completed — from distribution of PPE supplies at the schools to the implementation of physical distancing measures, and the updating of school reentry plans.

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In addition, Fernandez pointed out that the CAR Score is now at 1.3 and GDOE’s School Readiness Dashboard is at the lowest positivity rate.

Fernandez also says he feels comfortable that if January 4 is still the first day staff returns to school facilities, which is also the first day of the weeklong health and safety training, then it is possible to reopen schools on January 11.

GDOE’s school readiness checklist is also almost complete, with only Health and Safety Training for GDOE personnel still ongoing.

“A lot of this depends on the governor’s decision to when to authorize face-to-face instruction to begin. We did have a chance to talk with her, myself and Mary Okkada and Tom Price from GCC and UOG last Friday and she did indicate that, it looked like she is going to support re-opening of schools both higher ed and K-12 if the numbers stay where they are today. But of course, when she does, it’s up to us on how we want to come back,” Fernandez said.

GDOE is also considering a phased or staggered approach into opening schools for students as GDOE is still weighing on schools’ comfortability in implementing their safety practices.

Fernandez stresses that nothing is finalized yet.

These plans are still much in discussion and GDOE’s finalized plans with stakeholders about face-to-face instruction is on December 22nd.

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