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BREAKING NEWS: DOE prepares plans for ending school year, promoting & graduating students

By Troy Torres

(Tumon, Guam) Dr. Joe Sanchez, deputy superintendent of education for curriculum and instruction, presented a plan to the board of education in case Guam public schools do not open for the remainder of the school year.

The plan was developed in consultation with teachers, principals, the Islandwide Board of Governing Students (IBOGS), parents, and the staff of the curriculum and instruction office. Input from students from a poll conducted by the IBOGS also weighed heavily on this plan.

This is what the plan entails, if the school year ends now:

For kindergarten through 8th grade:

  • All students will be promoted to the next grade level

  • EXCEPT if there was a previous determination that the student would be retained. In this case, the proper school official will meet with those parents.

  • Third quarter grades will become the semester grades.

For high school:

  • Students who earned a third quarter grade of 59 percent or lower will be given a 60 percent (passing) for the semester. This is per class.

  • EXCEPT if you never showed up for that class or you showed up and never turned in work for that class. In this case, you will not receive the 60 percent passing grade in that class.

  • For Honors AP classes, there will be an additional 10 percent, EXCEPT if you are failing that class.

  • Service learning hours will be waived for graduating seniors IF the student meets the other graduation requirements.

Board chairwoman Maria Gutierrez informed Dr. Sanchez that DOE does not have the authority to curb the service learning requirements in the law. She recommended that either senators amend the law, or that Superintendent Jon Fernandez request the governor to suspend that law.

DOE offering continuation of learning online:

During this period, the department agrees with many parents, teachers, and students that online resources need to be offered online for continuing education of students.

DOE will be announcing the launch of a website populated by "high quality content," according to Dr. Sanchez. The department will be sharing online learning links and resources on this site.

According to Ms. Gutierrez, the board of education will be taking up the approval of these plans at its April 8 meeting, which will be held online on Zoom and featured on Facebook and YouTube. Among the specific topics are the waiving of grading, calendar, instructional time, and instructional programs polices.

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