School nurses assigned to COVID testing discovering many of the students missing from GDOE

Guam Department of Education (PNC file photo)

School nurses might be able to help the Guam Department of Education find the rest of the students who have not reported back to their schools for the new school year.

Since the beginning of the 2020-2021 school year, GDOE has made continuous efforts to locate some 4,000 students who have not reported back to their schools or to GDOE. With the help of their staff, teachers, social workers, and village mayors, they were able to locate 3,250 students. However, this means there are still 750 unaccounted for.

Still in communication with school nurses who have been deployed to Public Health for COVID testing, GDOE Superintendent Jon Fernandez said the nurses are finding that there’s a lot of young kids who are still at home and not participating in GDOE’s various modes of learning.

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“At this point, we think that many of those kids are going to be the kids on this list of students who failed to report back. Obviously, those families could be facing some challenges that make it difficult to prioritize school work because these are areas that may not have running water, and again, maybe they are under some difficult conditions. So our priority is to find support for these families and make sure the kids are getting something to eat and see if we can get them signed up for school,” Fernandez said in an interview with PNC.

Fernandez added that social workers are still working on the home visit list with the mayors’ offices in hopes that they can provide additional information on finding the rest of the unregistered students.

Once they are given approval, they will start doing the home visits and look into the students’ current situations.