Officials monitoring first day of school

GDOE Superintendent Jon Fernandez's decision to close schools and cancel classes follows Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero's recent executive order to extend the islandwide closure of government facilities and schools until May 5 to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. The school year was originally set to end on May 28th. (PNC photo)

Officials are out in force today monitoring the first day of school as thousands of public school students go back to school.

Governor Lou Leon Guerrero and Guam Department of Education Jon Fernandez, after dropping off his two children to their public schools, are touring the various public schools this morning.

Fernandez is touring John F. Kenedy High School and Jose Rios Middle School while the governor is touring Agana Heights Elementary School.

The superintendent will be at Okkodo High School at lunchtime.

In an interview with the Patti Arroyo show on NewsTalk K-57, Fernandez said other officials like legislative education oversight chair Sen. Telena Nelson, Speaker Tina Muna-Barnes, Sen. James Moylan, and other senators, mayors, and government officials will be in the field to monitor the first day of school and help out.

In addition, the Guam Police Department, Guam Fire Department, the Army National Guard, and Manelu will also be out welcoming students and giving students high fives as they enter the schools. These volunteers will be at Astumbo Elementary, Carbulido Elementary, Jose Rios Middle School, and Untalan Middle School.

Fernandez said there is a lot of anticipation for the first day of school but GDOE has teams in place to address any issue that might arise.

Although GDOE has no dedicated revenue source, Fernandez said GDOE did its best to spruce up schools for the first day of school.

According to Fernandez, safety is the first priority and he hopes to get the school safety task force meetings rolling again after they were temporarily postponed due to the community safety meetings resulting from the Mangilao machete attacks.

He added that GDOE continues to recruit teachers this late in the game and that the department continues to process and sign personnel actions to get new teachers on board.