Guam’s Department of Education launched its after-school programs Oct. 25, but a lack of interest from teachers could mean at least 10 schools won’t be able to provide students with this educational opportunity.
As the school year approaches, GDOE officials have planned a robust after-school program to compensate for the loss of student learning due to pandemic-related school closures.
The GDOE has provided an after-school program in each of the 41 public schools, and while the department has the money and the student interest, it does not have the teachers.
“Unfortunately, some schools don’t offer ASPIRE,” Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction Joseph Sanchez said, referring to the after-school program for instructional remediation and enrichment.
After-school programs are voluntary, Sanchez said, and the GDOE faces a shortage of teachers willing to teach outside of regular school hours.
GDOE officials attributed the lack of interest to the stress the pandemic has placed on the agency’s teachers, noting that many are unwilling to give up their downtime, despite the extra pay.
A breakdown of after-school programs provided by the GDOE showed that teacher shortages were preventing in-school programs at the following schools:
– Agana Heights Elementary School.
– Chief Brodie Elementary School.
– DL Pérez Primary School.
– MU Lujan Primary School.
– Machananao Elementary School.
– Ordot Chalan Pago Primary School.
– Captain HB Price Elementary School.
– Upi Primary School.
– Inarajan Secondary School.
– Luis P. Untalan Secondary School.
GDOE is looking for alternatives to staff after-school programs in these schools.
“So we’re asking them to see if they can recruit from other schools, if there were any teachers who were interested, but weren’t taken. In addition to high schools, we’re again focusing on credit recovery, so that was the priority and right now since we’ve kind of covered credit recovery, if we’re able to put extra teachers into enrichment programs in high schools,” said Sanchez.
Eskuelan Puengi now offers secondary school students the opportunity to earn credits and build their subject skills.
In addition to Eskuelan Puengi, GDOE has partnered with Guam Trades Academy and Asmuyao Community School to provide high school students with additional opportunities for credit recovery, enrichment, and college and career readiness. -work.
“We have a partnership with the Guam Trades Academy which offers programs for us. We had a very good summer program with them and took a number of students to the next level. So we invited these students to take over the next level and also introduced a new curriculum,” Sanchez said. “We have another relationship with Asmuyao Community School; it is an accredited alternative whose credits we accept.”
GDOE’s partnership with Asmuyao also “helps our department in our learning recovery efforts as we work to keep students on track for graduation,” the department said in a press release Thursday. . “Since the beginning of this partnership, 41 students have participated in the Alternative Pathways activity with (Asmuyao) to earn credits towards graduation. Currently, there are 14 participating students.”
GDOE will pay up to three credits for its high school students who attend Asmuyao.
Sanchez said new students are being accepted for both programs.
“All they have to do is contact their school counselor or contact those schools directly, and they can put them in touch with our folks at GDOE,” Sanchez said.
“We’re really excited to start our after-school programs,” added Sanchez, who said student interest in the programs is about half of the normal trend.
“In a regular school year, we’re looking at 1,400 elementary students who normally attend ASPIRE for after school. Middle school is a new program, so we’ve never had middle schoolers. And then for high school 994, that’s actually the normal number,” he said.
The GDOE enrollment breakdown showed that 776 elementary students, 257 middle school students and 994 high school students enrolled in after-school programs.
“We expect there will be some latecomers – because we’ve extended the deadline – who might join us, but we don’t anticipate too many,” Sanchez said.
Depending on the breakdown, some after-school programs won’t start until this week. Parents should contact their children’s respective schools for more information and to register.