Schools may adopt 2 cohorts as capacity issues persist

GDOE Superintendent Jon Fernandez, center, speaks to public school officials. (PNC file photo)

Guam Department of Education Superintendent Jon Fernandez continued his school visits Tuesday to assess the needs and capacity capabilities of the island’s public schools for face-to-face instruction.

Based on his visits so far, Fernandez says that capacity is still the main issue schools have when students return.

He is asking principals to push for students to enroll in a 5-day schedule for face-to-face instruction.

However, in order to do so, they need the necessary capacity to fit students on campus while still following safety parameters.

The current CDC and local COVID-19 protocol requirements are 3-feet distancing between students in classrooms and 6-feet distancing in other circumstances.

“Some of the smaller schools are able to facilitate 5 days of instruction and capacity is not a problem because they have lower enrollment. But some of the bigger schools that have regular or high enrollment, you’re going to get close to the goal but we’re not quite there yet,” Fernandez said.

He added: “The schools are saying we need two cohorts — one to come on Monday and the other to come on Tuesday and we’ll just alternate. But that’s not quite the 5-day schedule we’re shooting for. So during my visits, we just ask the schools what we can do to solve these challenges, remove obstacles and help them, again, to get to that goal of 5-day instruction. We want to help fit students into the classroom within the parameters. No cheating, no bending the rules.”