Parent alleges GACS is targeting students for speaking out at PTO meeting

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A concerned parent says their student was told they either had to attend classes in the elementary campus or transfer back to their district.

Guam – Despite a tumultuous start to their academic year, Guahan Academy Charter School finally re-opened yesterday. However, at least one concerned parent is alleging that their freshman student along with 25 other students was pulled out of class due to over-occupancy.

According to the parent, their student was given no prior warning about the over-occupancy and was told they had to attend classes in either the elementary campus or transfer back into their district.

The parent, who wishes to remain anonymous, also alleges that the students were not chosen at random, but argues that their child was targeted specifically because they spoke out during the last PTO meeting.

It was at this meeting when many concerned parents and stakeholders vented their frustration with some calling for the resignation of the Board of Trustees.

According to Superintendent Jon Fernandez, a handful of GACS students have in fact opted to transfer back into their district, but it’s still unclear if this is connected to the allegations made by the concerned parent.

Guam law requires charter schools that are over-registered, to base their acceptance on a lottery. But at least one concerned parent is alleging otherwise.

Keep in mind that the Department of Public Works only approved GACS for an occupancy of 360 students at the new campus, however trustees admitted in their last workshop session that they were planning for around 390-400 students.

If the school is in fact over capacity, it’s still unclear what measures administrators are using to address the over occupancy.

Meanwhile, GACS Principal Mary Mafnas, and other administrators did not immediately return our calls for comment as of news time.

The next meeting scheduled for Guam Academy Charter Schools Council will take place Tuesday, September 26 at 9am in the Department of Parks and Recreation Conference Room in the Paseo Stadium.