Guam Department of Education Superintendent Jon Fernandez says that as of this week, the re-opening of the island’s public schools will still go on as scheduled despite the rise in COVID-19 cases.
According to Fernandez, they haven’t made any significant changes to their re-opening plans.
“Of course, everyone is going to be concerned and anxious and wanting to be very vigilant about the public health situation. I’m pretty sure everyone is staying up to date with the latest news but ultimately Public Health needs to make the call on what’s allowable and what’s not allowable and we want to work with them to let them know our input and get more thoughts and observation and work from there,” Fernandez said.
He added: “Make no mistake. We’re paying attention to the latest cases. It’s just that at this point, when we’re looking at our data, our dashboard, we’re still in a situation where we feel comfortable opening for 5-day face-to-face instruction.”
According to the GDOE COVID-19 Weekly Dashboard, the current risk level of transmission in schools is at the 39.2 moderate level with a 2.1% low 7-day positivity rate.
Fernandez acknowledges that with the current guidelines in place, it will be difficult to guarantee all 41 schools will have 5-day instruction but he said they will continue to push for it.
GDOE has meetings set up with Lt. Governor Josh Tenorio and Public Health to discuss the modifications for specific schools, other safety precautions, additional supplies needed, and other school reopening issues.
The summer school program will start on June 7 while the new school year will start on August 10.