GDOE surveys stakeholders on school start-times


“We provided two forms [stakeholders] can fill out the survey. One is a paper survey, one is an online survey.” – Deputy Superintendent Erika Cruz

Guam – Citing new research, Deputy Superintendent Erika Cruz tells PNC that student performance is at its peak when school start time is a little later in the day.

In fact, the Department of Education is so convinced of the new findings that they’re now seeking stakeholder input on a potential chance in school hours.

“During parent teacher conference, we have developed a survey,” explains Cruz.  “This survey will get our stakeholders to provide input on times that they would like to start school, from earlier than 7:30 to later than 8am.”

For primary education, the teachers, faculty, parents, and guardians were polled for their input.

For the secondary level, GDOE is seeking student input as well.

“We provided two forms [stakeholders] can fill out the survey. One is a paper survey, one is an online survey,” Cruz said.

For some stakeholders, the new time change is accepted.

“I have no complaints about the time that they set up for elementary,” shares Amon Leon Guerrero.

As a former elementary teacher and now full-time grandfather, Leon Guerrero explains how the time change options affect different age groups.

“Maybe it’s because I’m very responsible and I’m used to getting up early, I make sure that the seven kids that I raised now they all have their own family and they’re doing the same thing,” Leon Guerrero said.

He continued, “I’m going to be voting for the 7:30 slot. The only thing I disagreed on is my middle school [start time]. My granddaughter –she wakes up so early!” he lamented.

Leon Guerrero’s granddaughter goes to Agueda Johnston Middle School, and for her, the start time is not so convenient.

“It’s not even daylight and they’re already walking to the bus stop,” Leon Guerrero recalls. “And we have to accompany her because she’s a preteen girl.”

But even with the early morning start time, some students don’t arrive home until after 3pm due to the bus routes. And according to Leon Guerrero, his grandchildren are not the only ones arriving home later in the afternoon.

“I see all these kids running after the bus at 6am and it’s still dark and my dogs will be barking, and I say what are you running for? And they say I’m trying to catch the bus because it’s going to be leaving and when I ask what time do you get up, they answer that school starts at 7am!” he exclaimed.

For parents or stakeholders who are comfortable with the current start times, there is an option to choose status quo. Keep in mind, that Cruz says the survey for will be closed by this Friday.

Click here to view the GDOE start time survey.