GDOE may ask legislature for a waiver of 180-day instruction requirement

Guam Department of Education Deputy Superintendent Joe Sanchez (PNC file photo)

The Guam Department of Education may have to ask the Legislature to waive the 180-day instruction requirement because of the instructional days lost to the COVID-19 pandemic.

GDOE had already lost instructional days due to the shutdown, but because of the current 2-cohort system, students are losing more days of instruction.

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“Obviously, just slip on the math, and we’re looking at about half of lost instructional days throughout the entire year. We’re hoping that it doesn’t take a year. But, you know, mathematically, that’s the way it’s gonna go,” GDOE deputy superintendent Joe Sanchez said during the department’s weekly briefing.

With regard to service learning, which is also required under the law, Sanchez said they plan to also ask for a waiver of the 75-hour service learning required of graduating high school students, at least for this year.

“It’s safe enough to come to school every other day. But because of the wide variety of service learning activities that are potentially out there, we think it would just be advisable to request for a waiver. We still believe the program is useful and very beneficial, but because it requires a diverse set of activities that will most likely take place off-campus, we just don’t want to take that risk,” Sanchez said.

With regard to still trying to make the 180-day requirement, Sanchez said that would require extending the school year.

“And I just don’t think we have enough days to do that because if we were to try to make up an entire or a whole half of the school year, it would probably eat up the entire summer,” Sanchez said.