by Krystal Paco
Guam - Thousands of the island's school children will have an extended summer break as the Department of Education announced the start of the new school year has been pushed back one week to Monday, August 15. The decision to delay the start of school was made after recent inspections by Public Health determined current conditions in school cafeterias are unacceptable.
DOE will use the extra time to address the problems. Interim Superintendent Taling Taitano told KUAM News, "That's to ensure all of our cafeterias are able to meet the standards. Every decision we make at doe is student centered, and we want to ensure were able to serve food safely to our children."
DOE, Public Health and food services contractor Sodexo are working to ensure food safety standards for school cafeterias will be met when school is opened. Public Health Program Coordinator Bertha Taijeron confirms that her agency's Division of Environmental Health had inspected eight schools as part of the process of issuing Ssodexo the sanitary permits to conduct business, but all eight were found not to be in compliance with regulations.
Taijeron added that Public Health is working with DOE to address what they call "critical violations".