GDOE preparing for school opening; bus, bell schedule released

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GDOE Superintendent Jon Fernandez acknowledged that he and his staff were anticipating some hiccups. (PNC file photo)

With the start of the school year slated for next week Tuesday, Aug. 13, here’s what you need to know to get your kids ready for their first day.

Armed with pens and notepads in hand, a number of teachers rushed in and out of the Guam Department of Education’s building in Tiyan for a number of training sessions to get them ready to open their classrooms next week to new batches of students.

With classes just around the corner, GDOE has been working to prepare for the upcoming school year by holding training sessions, faculty recruitment, and campus improvement projects.

Regarding GDOE’s vacant teacher positions, GDOE Superintendent Jon Fernandez says that the department is working on addressing the issue.

“We are in the process of trying to fill the last 30, 29 slots. I think if we make headway – we still have a few openings. But the schools have been instructed that in the event on day one, we aren’t able to fill all those positions … the first couple of days, they may have some extra students in their classrooms until we get settled,” Fernandez said.

In addition, Fernandez says that parents won’t have to worry about packing lunches as all public schools on the island will once again be participating in the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National School and Lunch Program, which will provide meals to students at no cost.

“We’ll be continuing with this program for the upcoming school year for as long as we can. In future school years, we think it’s important that kids don’t have to worry about where their meals are coming from so they can come to our classrooms ready to learn,” Fernandez said.

As for what time you should drop off your kids to their campus, GDOE says that both elementary and middle schools will start at 8:30 a.m. with elementary schools set to end at 2:43 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. for middle schools.

Four high schools — John F. Kennedy, Southern, Tiyan, and both JP Torres campuses will start at 6:45 a.m. and end at 1:45 p.m. George Washington, Okkodo, and Simon Sanchez will begin at 7:15 in the morning and finish at 2:15 in the afternoon.

To see the busing and bell schedules for this school year, head to GDOE’s Back to School page on gdoe.net.

See information from GDOE below:

Back to school health information
Bell Schedule SY 2019-2020 (PDF)
GDOESchool Year 2019-2020 Bus Schedule