Some Catholic schools on Guam plan to limit enrollment

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HAGÅTÑA (The Guam Daily Post) — The island's Catholic schools will primarily be holding face-to-face teaching and learning in the classrooms throughout the week in the new school year.

Superintendent Juan Flores said the system's 14 schools have been working on different options that would ensure children are receiving an education while providing safeguards for the health and safety of all.

They've come up with some options that will accommodate students whose parents are anticipating returning to work, as well as parents who are hesitant about sending their children to school.

San Vicente Catholic School in Barrigada is pictured on Monday, July 6. Photo by David Castro/The Guam Daily Post

"For some schools, that means restricting overall school enrollment to the number of students who can be accommodated in the classrooms, with limits on the number of students according to (U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) guidelines," according to a press release from the Archdiocese of Agana. "Other schools will limit enrollment in the classrooms and offer distance learning on the school campuses in various locations such as gyms, auditoriums, libraries, multipurpose rooms and cafeterias. Some schools will also offer distance learning opportunities to students choosing to stay at home."

On at least a couple of school websites, Aug. 10 is noted as the start of the school year. Flores said that's tentative as they await word from the governor’s office on when classes will start. He said in a recent meeting with the governor’s office they were told that schools would be allowed to reopen two weeks after Phase 3 is announced.

"This meeting took place before July 1," he said. "So we were optimistic because we anticipated Phase 3 sometime in July...but we're not so certain about that now."

Not-so-distant learning

Flores said by utilizing gymnasiums and other on-campus facilities, they'll be ensuring students are in school "where they're monitored and also doing something productive," but in an appropriate socially distanced setting.

He explained that some schools are considering camcorders and other ways to produce live classroom sessions that can be accessed by students whether they're at home or in the school's gymnasium.

"One of the reasons the Catholic schools have made the commitment to hold classes every day is to give students the opportunity to be in the school setting," he stated. "So even if they're not in the classroom ... they'll be in school and be monitored and have access to their teacher."

'Lessons were learned'

Throughout the fourth quarter of the last school year, after the public health declaration shut down most of the island, including schools, Catholic schools provided distance learning opportunities until the end of the year.

"Many lessons were learned from those new experiences. Teachers, administrators and staff members have attended meetings and training sessions this summer to enhance distance learning if that is necessary," the archdiocese stated. "The schools are also preparing for the new school year by ensuring that the equipment and activities are ready for the students' re-entry into on-campus academic activities."

Flores said one of those lessons is the possibility of an extended day for families who need after-school care for their children.

"This way the students can remain in a monitored setting and be working on homework ... and be able to get the help they need," he said, adding they're also looking at ways to ensure students are getting outdoors and playing or doing some form of exercise that observes public health guidelines.

School officials are encouraging families to contact individual schools or the Office of Catholic Education if they are interested in registering for the fall.

Families can call 671-562-0051 or email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. if they are considering registering in one of the 14 Catholic schools on island. In addition, information on individual schools can be found on

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