There are new school hours this coming school year for Department of Education students.
Last night during a special meeting, DOE, the Guam Education Board and other stakeholders approved not only the new times but also a new school calendar which indicate: shorter school year but longer school days.
This coming school year will begin on August 17 and will end classes on May 20, 2016.
All elementary schools will start at 8 am and end at 2:28 pm
All middle schools will hold classes from 8:30 am to 3:30 pm
For the high schools JFK, Tiyan, JP Torres, and Southern High, classes will start earlier at 6:45 am and then get out at about 1:45 pm
Lastly, George Washington, Okkodo and Simon Sanchez will begin classes at 7 and be dismissed at 2
DOE Superintendent Jon Fernandez says this is the best schedule they can come up with and here are reasons why. He says, “The first is the passage of the public law that required us to ensure that makeup days did not fall within Christmas or Easter break and the second issue is to be supportive of the island’s efforts to promote and host Fest Pac.”
Fernandez says with this amended school calendar, students will have about 173 days of instruction and about 30 minutes added to each school day. He says teachers will continue to report until June 2, 2016 and will be provided intensive professional development during these days at the end of the year.
Just minutes after DOE posted the change of schedule, they received a whirlwind of reactions. Let’s take a look at social media.
– Just stick to the original set up like it was last school year for HS
– School times are approved…whoaaaa
– What happened to Southern getting out at 1:20?
– What time will the buses come?
– What time do gates open?
There are even some humorous tweets on DOE Superintendent Jon Fernandez’s Twitter page.
Fernandez tweeted: All my HS students complaining about having to wake up a little earlier for school but no problem staying up late on Twitter. Of course there are replies:
– lol forreal, no complaining here, rather get off early
– I like the schedule sir
Fernandez says overall, students say yes to the change. He says, “Probably by a 7 or 8 to 1 ratio, students supported an earlier start for a number of different reasons. Some of them are responsible for taking care of their younger siblings at home, some wanted to make sure they have enough time for activities, and some want to make sure they have enough time to go to work. We’ll continue to work with our teachers and students to give responses to their questions but overwhelmingly given the parameters we had to deal with, given the nature of our busing and the goals of our school system, the schedule that was approved is something I really support.”