Hagåtña, Guam - Following a tour of the Chief Brodie Memorial Elementary School campus in Tamuning, Acting Lieutenant Governor Telena Nelson sent a letter to the Guam Department of Education and Guam Education Board today calling for broader discussion on the school’s possible conversion to a new central middle school.
Nelson, chairwoman of the Committee on Education, met with the school’s Principal Darlene Castro, GDOE Deputy Superintendent of Assessment and Accountability Stacey Coletta, and some of the school’s teachers, faculty and staff. Their discussion ranged from the possible conversion’s feasibility study and school infrastructure, to the timeline of the conversion and community input on the issue.
“We had a productive discussion on the possible conversion of the school, which yielded additional options for GDOE and the Guam Education Board to consider,” Nelson said. “We will continue looking for creative, cost-cutting solutions that help GDOE reach their goals without cutting too deeply into the government’s budget.”
Nelson inquired about the school’s potential to become a kindergarten through 8th grade school instead of GDOE’s current plan to convert the elementary school campus to a new central middle school. School administration agreed it could be a more feasible option to explore. Principal Castro said Chief Brodie Memorial Elementary School currently enrolls approximately 300 students, but the campus can accommodate up to 800.
Additionally, GDOE has expressed that the conversion would call for necessary school renovations, which could take between 8 to 10 months. Nelson, in her letter to GDOE Superintendent Jon Fernandez and GEB Chairman Mark Mendiola, expressed concern about the renovation’s timeline and asked for stakeholders to have an opportunity to share their thoughts and ample time to prepare for possible changes, especially with regard to student transportation and uniforms.
“At the end of the day, we have to ensure we are allowing our community the right and privilege of having their voices heard in this discussion,” Nelson said. “Families across several villages will feel the impact of this conversion. They deserve an opportunity to share their thoughts and concerns with those making the decisions.”
For more information, contact Tihu Lujan at the Office of Vice Speaker Telena Cruz Nelson at (671) 989-7696 or firstname.lastname@example.org.