Teachers Union Upset That Some Teachers Might Miss FESTPAC

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The calendar committee met today and teachers union representative Tim Fredenko says their is growing dissent among the teachers and making them work seven professional development days after school ends on May 20 will only grow the dissent.

Guam – Discussion continued today over whether not the Guam Department of Education should extend the school calendar and the divide between the teachers and school management officials continues to grow over whether or not teachers should have to work seven extra days at the end of the year.

The calendar committee met today and teachers union representative Tim Fredenko says their is growing dissent among the teachers and making them work seven professional development days after school ends on May 20 will only grow the dissent. Because of the upcoming Festival of the Pacific Arts, or FESTPAC, the school calendar year was shortened but the school day was extended by 28 minutes to comply with the 180-day instructional limit as required by law. But teachers are still required to work seven extra days in the form of professional development days. GDOE Superintendent Jon Fernandez said that he is open to including FESTPAC activities into the seven professional development days that teachers must make up. GDOE deputy superintendent Joe Sanchez proposed to limit the seven professional development days to half days and still pay the teachers for a full days work.

 

“So FESTPAC is a wonderful opportunity for education, we’re gonna learn about all these different islands, some of our kids are participating. Some of us are volunteering and were taking part in the groups and everything and to say that at 12 o’clock now you can participate in FESTPAC. To me that’s insulting. This thing has come to Guam, were stopping school early for this this is the first time Guam has ever hosted. Everyone is excited about it except the teachers aren’t gonna be allowed to participate. I feel like we are being excluded from the events,” said Blas.

Fredenko also asked if GDOE was going to let the four schools that are housing FESTPAC delegates out earlier to accommodate housing delegates. Fredenko asked if GDOE was going to be able to handle the influx of people coming into the school. just one day after school lets out. Fernandez said that particular issue has been discussed but a request has not yet been presented to the board.