- 1 of 2
THE new “4 by 4” school schedule came under fire last night during a meeting organized by John F. Kennedy High School stakeholders at the school cafeteria.
Around 300 teachers, faculty, staff and parents expressed their dissatisfaction with the new school schedule that was approved by the Guam Education Board.
Unlike the George Washington High School stakeholder meeting held last month, six members of the board showed up this time, including chairman Francis Santos.
The school board now appears to be divided over the new schedule.
“I retract what I said on the radio. I am open-minded. What I said about not changing my vote, I have reconsidered. Actually, I have some other proposals to make,” GEB parent representative Barry Mead stated during an interview after the stakeholder meeting.
Earlier, Mead said GEB isn’t going to change its vote on the new schedule.
During the meeting, several teachers, students and parents stood up to express their position regarding the new approved scheduled.
JFK teacher Steve Protasio, in his testimony, emphasized the need to seek stakeholder input by citing a section from GEB’s rules.
The section specifically states that the board should “keep the people regularly and thoroughly informed through all the channels of communication of all GPSS policies, programs, problems, and planning of the school system.”
Protasio also stated the schedule does not promote the best interests of JFK students because “it diminishes the number of instructional minutes that they have in the core classes.”
“That’s not acceptable for us. We’ve come a long way towards increasing our SAT 10s over the years and we are not prepared to give that up and let go of all that momentum and go back to where we came from. We want to continue to build on that momentum.”
Student leader Rosalo Paeste III is concerned that the new schedule would diminish school spirit. He is afraid that once the new schedule is implemented next school year, students will not be able to attend athletic events, participate in organizations, and other after-school activities.
Julienne Duenas, a parent of a senior and incoming freshman, said the “issue is with the way the policy was implemented. There was a lack of notice, a lack of discussion as to how these changes will affect the community.”
She also questioned why the current “3AB” schedule will be changed, when it is “clearly working.” Duenas is also concerned that with teacher burnout, her children will not be nurtured by teachers in school.
“Bring in the parents and teachers into the team. Teach the children that it is possible to make informed decisions on policy-making,” Duenas emphasized while requesting GEB to reconsider the policy.