GDOE may have to further delay reopening of schools

Guam Department of Education (PNC file photo)

It looks like the Guam Department of Education may have to delay the re-opening of schools a little bit longer.

Although GDOE is targeting to re-open school campuses on January 2021 at the earliest, with Guam still being in the highest COVID-19 risk level, it’s unlikely that GDOE will be able to follow its reopening schedule.

Knowing that this is the biggest positivity rate the island has experienced so far, GDOE Superintendent Jon Fernandez believes that once again, there might be a delay in re-opening schools as GDOE’s number one priority is the health and safety of students and staff.

“That’s definitely not the right direction for us (the high positivity rate), especially when we’re trying to make a decision over the next month. We want to make a decision by December 15 when the board meets. And in order to do that, we have to make sure the community is going in the right direction because if not, I’m sure the Govenor won’t allow for schools to open and I’m sure we would agree with her that we don’t want to put our students and employees back to school in an unsafe, high-risk environment,” Fernandez said.

Even with this uncertainty, Fernandez says that GDOE is still meeting with school staff and prepping campuses in case they are given the approval to reopen on the original targeted date.

However, even then, Fernandez says GDOE will still delay re-opening unless it is deemed safe based on the CDC framework of COVID-19 school transmissions.

To help with making final decisions from re-opening campuses to strengthening the home distance learning models, Fernandez states that it’s imperative for stakeholders to voice their input, concerns, and suggestions to GDOE during their virtual meetings.

Every day of next week, GDOE will be holding regional zoom sessions and issuing out surveys for those purposes.