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Thousands of kids head back to school

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In the wake of Tropical Storm Goni, Monday morning thousands of parents and children started their day early - prepping uniforms, collecting bags and school supplies and making their way to the very first day of school.    

It's been a busy weekend for the Department of Education, as in less than 24 hours after our community's weekend dance with Mother Nature, the agency cleared three public schools being used as storm shelters, assessed all 41 school campuses, and announced that 38 schools would open Monday morning as planned.    

Superintendent Jon Fernandez told KUAM News, "We've been working throughout the past 24/48 hours. Our biggest focus right now is getting the rest of our schools open, so that's FB Leon Guerrero, Inarajan Elementary School and Inarajan Middle School."

FB Leon Guerrero Middle School in Yigo was closed due to water damage and flooding from the storm, while the two remaining schools were closed to due general water issues. "We're working with the Guam Waterworks Authority to get a sense of when they expect water to be back," confirmed Fernandez, "but we're also planning a contingency plan, that we are trying to finalize right now, that would involve making sure we could get water tanks to the schools, providing drinking water and also maybe hand sanitizer as well."

Fernandez said opening all schools is a priority, but aside from storm-related issues, the school year started off well with no major issues. "I'll be out and I know my deputies will be out throughout the first week of school, just visiting schools and making sure everything is going well," he noted.

Meanwhile thousands of students from the remaining schools met their classmates and teachers for the first time.

Juan M. Guerrero Elementary School assistant principal Marites Garcia said, "It was exciting really. We had a lot of parents that came, our students were so excited, and more so our students and our faculty and staff are very excited to have them here today. With all the excitement going on, they get to meet their teachers, parents are coming here with all their supplies and materials and get to know their child's teacher, and activities are going on that our teachers have planned for the day, really made them very excited so we're hoping that enthusiasm will continue throughout the year."

The new year begins a chapter in the lives of not only students, but parents alike.

And finally, what most of you want to know: in a press release late this afternoon DOE announced that FB Leon Guerrero Middle School, Inarajan Middle, and Inarajan Elementary School will be opening on Tuesday morning.

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