Teachers train for in-person instruction; low face-to-face registration actually helps GDOE

Guam Department of Education (PNC file photo)

This week, Guam Department of Education teachers and school staff went back to school for training, preparing themselves for face-to-face instruction.

GDOE anticipates 7,000 out of 28,000 registered students to come back to school for face-to-face instruction.

GDOE Superintendent Jon Fernandez says the low registration numbers actually helps them to be able to open schools all at once and revamp their face-to-face scheduling.

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“There will be 3 middle schools who will have to do 3 cohorts but the remainder of the schools will be able to break it down into two cohort groups. We look at this as a starting point, especially since it will give us a chance to welcome students back and to do so in a safe way where we’ll be able to implement and test and strengthen our safety procedures. And then hopefully down the road, when the situation improves, we’ll be able to bring more students back to face-to-face instruction,” Fernandez said.

Procedures for special education students who choose face-to-face instruction are also included in their preparations.

“Now, when a student comes to school and is able to receive face-to-face instruction, we’re also ensuring that we’re abiding by their individual education plan. There is an IEP for every student in special education so that goes into effect when they go to school, including the delivery of services. So when they’re at school, some of the kids receive services, you know, therapy and so forth … it will still be anticipated those services will still be provided,” Fernandez said.

GDOE will offer services such as telehealth and therapy for special needs students who choose distance learning. This will be done on a case to case basis.

GDOE will also continue to monitor the island’s health status for the next two weeks and strengthen its plans for re-opening and closing in case any changes should occur.