The countdown begins for the start of the school year! We are less than a month away from the first day of school, but is the Department of Education ready?
Superintendent Jon Fernandez says as of today, he and his maintenance team only have five schools left to inspect. Fernandez says they have been conducting school site visits to see first hand what issues each school has and address them before classes resume.
Tonight, DOE will be presenting their findings to the Guam Education Board at their monthly board meeting, but Fernandez says overall, they’ve only seen minor issues and these fixes include repairing parts of fences, touching up paint, fixing flooring, and making sure all the lights and air-conditioning are up and running.
However, Board Chair Peter Ada shares with us some of the questions he wants answered. He says, “During tonight’s meeting, we hope that the Superintendent will be able to tell us do we have enough classrooms, how many students are we anticipating, how many teachers do we have, how many more need to be filled, and I hope he’ll also be able to tell us if we have enough back up for special contracts if be needed.”
Ada says he was dismayed that the pilot Pre-K won’t be kicking off at the start of the school year as initially planned. He says, “Because of the classrooms, the Superintendent is recommending that we hold of the start of the school year until about October. We were hoping that it will be commencing all at the same time, however, that can be delayed a little bit, but we need to take care of our kinder and 12th graders.”
Ada also has another concern, not necessarily for the start of the school year, but what might cause a hindrance in school operations for Simon Sanchez High School.
Ada says, “I’m more concerned about Simon Sanchez and the plan for them to do if it’s going to be a renovation or a construction of a new school, how will that affect the operation of the school year if the construction is going to go on? I’m going to keep an ear out for that because that’s going to be a big concern for me.”
The Guam Education Board will be meeting with DOE more often as we get closer to the first day of school.