According to recent registration numbers, the strong summer program of the Guam Department of Education will only serve a fraction of the student body.
“We don’t have a lot of students,” said deputy superintendent of program and training Joseph Sanchez. “We are looking at 2,000 students entering the summer school. Of that number, around 1,800 are actually face to face.”
There are about 30,000 public school students, the majority of whom have returned to class next school year. The ministry’s intention for the summer school program is to address the loss of teaching hours and help students spend more time in class.
âA lot of the feedback we’ve received from students and their parents is that they want to try face-to-face before the next school year,â Sanchez said.
The mother of five, Abigail Gogo, said she is very keen for her children to attend the summer school in person.
âIt was a constant back and forth. Is it too early? said Gogo. “But with all the protocols and getting started and seeing what they did to make sure everything’s safe, I’m fine.”
Her children know how to disinfect and wash their hands and wear their masks at all times.
“I know they’re prepared for this and they know what to do. I’m just so glad they’re going back to the classroom and being with their friends, their teachers. I’m pretty sure they just want to stay. home and be with me, but I think they need it, âGogo said.
As her children prepare for the face-to-face meeting, other students jump in line for the first time.
And with the students of the e-learning program for the 2021-2022 school year not being able to switch from the online line until the end of the semester, summer is used to make the transition.
âFor example, they were students on paper, but for the next school year they don’t feel ready to come back in person, so they’re going to try the program online over the summer,â Sanchez says.
The summer school program is offered at the elementary and intermediate levels as an extended learning program, while high school students focus on credit recovery.
âAll of the high school students who participate in the summer school program are there to collect their credits,â Sanchez said. “All other students from elementary to middle school don’t have to collect credits, but they are basically there for extended learning time or enrichment.”
He said high school students could not take a course during the summer to earn credits. However, they can recover up to two credits cumulatively or 0.5 credits per session.
The summer school program is offered in all public schools, and although the official enrollment period has ended, GDOE will continue to accept students for enrollment. Parents are encouraged to contact their child’s respective schools to enroll.