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Kids happy to start school year

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by Jolene Toves

Guam - It was back to the school for thousands of our island's school children. Parents eagerly waited as the clock ticked away and the school bell rang signaling the end of the first day of school.

Sharing the excitement of today are parents and children such as April Ignacio and her daughter JMG kindergartener Caselynn Rosario. Caselynn said her first day of school went well, with her mother adding, this morning she was okay she didn't cry or anything, so I was happy about that I guess because I prepped her throughout the summer."

A long awaited day for educators and DOE staff who have been working tirelessly to ensure the new school year started off smoothly. DOE superintendent Jon Fernandez said, "We had an excellent opening today I think all the schools opened very smoothly."

While there where a few minor glitches such as school scheduling issues in secondary schools, Fernandez says there were no major problems and attributes today's successful start to being proactive saying he paid visits to public school campuses around the island.  "Back in July I visited every school and brought my facilities and maintenance staff with me and we took care of a lot of the requests and understood a lot of the critical issues and then we worked very hard since then to get to opening day," he said ."Last week we relied on the principals to really confirm the fact the critical priorities were being addressed."

With children in school and ready to learn let's not forget the individuals who carry the task of making sure the island's youth get to and from school safely. Normally the first day of school children are scrambling to find the right bus home making the task of juggling both private and public school routes a little hectic but DPW bus drivers say the first day of school has gone on without a hitch.

Station 3 bus driver Rick Calvo said, "It went smooth today and hopefully by the end of the day we don't have concerned parents or school administrator that they are missing kids but the first day is always the hardest because of the transition and new faces also the little ones to find their bus stop but other than that everything went all right."

As for Guam's first charter school while they officially opened their doors today with a week of testing students academic levels, the first day of instructional time for all students will be next Monday.

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