GDOE offers 3 methods of instruction for the coming school year

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The Guam Education Board has approved the schedule options for the upcoming school year.

Parents and guardians may select one of three methods of instruction:

  • Distance learning with 100 percent online instruction. This would require students to have access to a stable internet connection and device;
  • Distance learning with a paper or hard copy-based curriculum, and;
  • Traditional learning, which would involve students participating in both face-to-face classes and at-home learning.

Students who will take traditional classes will be divided into three groups alphabetically and will go to school on alternating days.

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Considering the reduction of in-person instruction, Joe Sanchez, the Guam Department of Education’s Deputy Superintendent of Curriculum, says that the days traditional students aren’t at school won’t be treated as time off.

“On these instructional days, it could be initial instruction. The content is taught and then there is a work packet or homework or a resource that is provided to the child that they then have to work on during the next day. So if they’re student group A, work will need to be done on days B and C and so on. They’ll have to understand that once they come back, there will be a review or grading of the material,” Sanchez said.

Pending the Governor’s and Public Health’s approval, GDOE aims to start classes on Aug. 11. But the members of the board and GDOE administration both agreed that this date is tentative based on the status of the COVID-19 pandemic.

During this unique time in the wake of the pandemic, students and parents can expect many changes once they return back to school.

To help ease any financial burden on families, uniforms will be optional this year and a dress code will be enforced.

Campus offices have been fitted with plexiglass screens, halls with social distancing markers, and even an isolation room will be set up at each school, according to Erika Cruz, the chairperson of the District School Readiness Task Force.

“All schools are required to have isolation with HEPA filters so that if a student or employee is potentially identified as having COVID-19, that individual will be kept in that particular isolation room,” Cruz said.

Parents and guardians are asked to submit the GDOE model of learning registration form by next Friday, July 10. They are advised to contact their respective school for more information.

Guam Education Board Board Resolution 2020-06 – In support of the Recommendations of the District School Readiness Task Force

READ the release from Guam DOE in FULL below:

GUAM EDUCATION BOARD APPROVES SCHEDULE OPTIONS FOR SCHOOL YEAR 2020-2021 DUE TO COVID-19 PANDEMIC

The Guam Education Board (GEB) voted to support schedule options for School Year (SY) 2020-2021 as recommended by the Guam Department of Education (GDOE) District School Readiness Task Force (DSRTF) at its regular board meeting held on June 30, 2020.

The DSRTF was established by the Superintendent of Education in May 2020 to develop options and recommendations for the reopening of SY 2020-2021. The Task Force consists of six committees in areas including safety and operations, curriculum, personnel management, social and emotional wellness, communications, and finance. Due to COVID-19 safety concerns, the Guam Education Board has approved three instructional model schedule options for SY 2020-2021. All three models will be offered, and parents may select which model their child will participate in:

Home Learning Online Instruction (Online Learning): This model of instruction and attendance is 100% online home learning. Students participate in classes online and are required to have a computer or tablet, and reliable internet access. Additionally, though not necessarily required, access to a printer and scanner is beneficial.

Home Learning Hard Copies (Paper Based/Hard Copy Curriculum): This model of instruction and attendance is for students who would like to do 100% home learning but do not have the equipment to support 100% online work. This would be a home learning model supported by a paper-based or hard copy based curriculum.

Traditional (Face-to-Face): This model of instruction and attendance will be for students who will be participating in traditional face-to-face classes in school consisting of an A-B-C alternating schedule, where 1/3 of students attend classes on any given school day. The A-B-C alternating schedule entails the following:

Students are divided up into equally sized alphabetical cohorts (A, B, C). Efforts will be made to align schedules of siblings in the same or multiple schools.

Cohorts will alternate days for physical attendance on campus.

On days when students are not physically on campus, they will have assignments, projects or activities to complete and submit when they return. These assignments, projects, or activities can be provided and completed electronically or through hard copy depending on students’ access to equipment and the internet.

Alternating days will follow the same order and adjust accordingly for holidays.

Fridays will be designated as student interventions and parent support days.

Parents/guardians are asked to submit the GDOE Model of Learning Registration Form by July 10, 2020 to select the model of instruction their child will participate in this year, regardless of whether their child is a new or continuing student. Children of parents who do not complete the form will be automatically enrolled in the traditional face-to-face model. Parents/guardians are asked to contact their child’s school for information on how to complete and submit the model of learning registration form.

The Task Force recommendations were based on planning involving discussions with key stakeholders who were consulted as part of the planning process to include school administrators, teachers, non-instructional staff, student leaders, the Islandwide Parent Teacher Organization, Guam Federation of Teachers, Physicians Advisory Group (PAG), public health experts, island mayors and government leaders. Prior to the decision, the GEB also reviewed input from both parent and student surveys. The GEB also met with the Task Force weekly during the development of school reopening schedule proposals.

Reopening plans were crafted to ensure consistency with guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and public health experts. In addition to focusing on safety, the DSRTF is planning to provide social and emotional wellness training prior to the beginning of the school year and is also working on this effort with the Guam Behavioral Health and Wellness Center.

In light of the COVID-19 health situation, the GEB voted to temporarily suspend the following board policies this coming school year:

Board Policy 346 regarding instructional subjects and time on task for elementary schools
Board Policy 381 regarding service learning requirements

Board Policy 401 regarding uniform policy
Board Policy 411 regarding student attendance

*Board Policy 602 regarding the adoption of textbooks and instructional materials

Additionally, the GEB requested that the 35th Guam Legislature introduce legislation to suspend laws relative to instructional hours and service learning requirements due to safety requirements being implemented to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

“On behalf of the board, we are confident that these changes and the safety measures being implemented by the Task Force will ensure we are both able to reopen schools and keep our students and employees safe,” GEB Chairwoman Maria Gutierrez said. “While this will be a major change for our school system, we have heard the concerns from our parents and community, and know that safety must remain our top priority as we work to reopen schools this year.”

“I would like to thank our team for working around the clock to put these plans in place given the unprecedented situation we are faced with, and I would also like to thank the community, including our students, parents, teachers, elected leaders and healthcare officials for assisting us with determining these next steps,” GDOE Superintendent Jon Fernandez said. “As this situation continues to evolve, we will continue to consult with healthcare experts to ensure that our actions are the best that we can take to both keep our kids safe and provide them with a quality education.”

“With this endorsement from the board, our team is ready to begin implementation of our plans to address safety, curriculum and social and emotional wellness,” GDOE Deputy Superintendent Joe Sanchez said. “This is going to be a tremendous effort and challenge, and I want to thank our team and our community for their support.”

For the latest information regarding the GDOE reopening plans for School Year 2020-2021, please visit https://www.gdoe.net/District/Portal/school-year-2020-2021-information

 

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