GDOE Trying to Address Shortage of Teachers and Much Needed School Repairs


Fernandez was the guest speaker at the Rotary Club of Tumon Bay today.

Guam – The school year has just ended but Guam Department of Education Superintendent Jon Fernandez is still pushing for the department’s three priorities. They are: 

“Facilities. Teacher issues in terms of our teacher shortage. Third thing is college and career readiness and how we can push students to be ready for their college experiences,” says Fernandez.

As far as facilities go, just two weeks ago, GDOE, Department of Public Works, and the Guam Education Facilities Foundation came to terms with a negotiation, that includes building a new Simon Sanchez High School next to the old campus within two years. The estimated cost for the new Yigo campus is $77 million dollars. Since the Request for Proposal only provides $100 million dollars to fix up the GDOE schools, that means that the rest of the schools would only have about $24 million dollars left to share.
Fernandez says, “After we deal with Simon Sanchez, I’d like to focus our next phase of resources into addressing all our health and safety issues across the school system that have been ignored because we don’t have the resources.”
That includes items such as canopy repairs and restroom renovations.
Fernandez also spoke about the lack of teachers. His goal is to have a teacher in every classroom, however…”It’s been hard to make progress on that goal when we can’t supply enough teachers in the classrooms. We continue to work with UOG to think of ways we try to recruit, mentor, retain or develop teachers. That’s an on going discussion that I want to make sure they recognize because it’s so critical to our success,” he says.
Lastly, Fernandez says the department is trying to up their college and career readiness programs and ultimately improve the transition from high school to college or career for students. 
Fernandez explains, “I still think there are a lot of things to focus on with successful programs we have right now that we can build on such as career education at GCC, partnership with UOG to try to bridge the translation from high school to college, and so forth.”
Fernandez was the guest speaker at the Rotary Club of Tumon Bay today.