GDOE’s pre-K program has yet to expand

Guam Department of Education (PNC file photo)

Guam -With the 2018-2019 school year in its final semester, a new batch of children will be walking into a school campus for the first time as pre-kindergarten (pre-K) students, but the program is not open to all four-year-olds.

Limited space means that only a small number of 4-year-olds will be able to participate in the pilot program.

Designed to promote early learning and school readiness for children, the pre-K pilot program began in 2015. Last year, education officials disclosed plans to eventually expand the program to more than four schools.

Guam Department of Education spokeswoman Isa Baza told K57’s Phill Leon Guerrero that there are currently only four pre-K classrooms at four GDOE schools.

These schools include J.Q. San Miguel, Lyndon B. Johnson, Marcial Sablan and Finegayan Elementary. Each of these schools can only accommodate up to 18 students.

“Those schools will usually have to resort to a lottery system to choose the 18 students who will be able to attend,” Baza said. “If there are students who can move to other schools that can be arranged. However, busing may not be provided to out-of-district students.”

Baza said only children who are four years old by July 31st are eligible for the program.
In addition to filing out an application form, parents must also provide a mayor’s verification to verify the school district.

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Jolene Toves
Jolene joined the PNC team in 2017, as a producer, co-anchor and investigative reporter covering law enforcement, courts and crimes. Notable coverage includes the Ehlert case, the Mark Torre Jr. trial, the Allan Agababa trial, exclusive pieces on the Life of a Drug Dealer/Addict, and Life behind bars...the story of Honofre Chargualaf and Kevin Cruz. In 2019, she was promoted to Assistant News Director and Lead Anchor. From 2015 to 2017 she served as Public Relations and Promotions Manager, for the Hotel Nikko Guam handling local radio and advertorial promotions, as well as produced and directed tv commercials for the hotel. Prior to this she worked with KUAM for three years as a reporter and segment host. She began her journalism career in 2012, working with Glimpses of Guam contributing to the Guam Business Magazine, R&R magazine, MDM magazine and the Marianas Business Journal.