No school for Guahan Academy Charter School on Thursday - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

No school for Guahan Academy Charter School on Thursday

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No school for Guahan Academy Charter School on Thursday - the announcement came late this afternoon. And with 12 make up days and counting due to continual safety issues at the Tiyan campus, an oversight was held by the charter council Wednesday morning.

Several weeks into the school year and middle and high school students at Guahan Academy School have yet to settle in...the school has been closed for weeks due to safety issues and inability to obtain an occupancy permit. Officials are working on how to make up the 12 lost days...however only 9 make up days have been identified so far.

"Maybe because we're good with our Carnegie contact hours, maybe we can just go ahead and work with the 9 days if that's possible," said Board chairwoman Fe Valencia Ovalles.

As of Wednesday morning, pending clearances with the Guam Fire Department and DPW had yet to be resolved. In addition the school is anticipating roughly 390 students at the new campus even though Public Health has indicated the max capacity is 363. Ovalles said GFD gave a conflicting max capacity of 392. "We will abide by whatever, but at the end of the day, who rules, fire or public health, two different opinions, so I don't know what matrix they're using, we will follow whatever they tell us."

Another issue plaguing the school is that it enrolled 260 students over the current enrollment cap provided by the legislature. According to school finance officer Joe Cabana, if the legislature does not provide the school with an enrollment expansion, it will not be able to fund continuing and future expansion projects.

"If the cap is still the same, or the allotment is still the same as the $4.8 million that was appropriated, that funding is only good for our operations but nothing for any future projects," she said.

School board of trustees member Victor Perez reminded the council that if things don't work out as planned, the school will likely revert back to DOE. "If it doesn't happen then you know the law, you've read the law - it reverts back to you, superintendent of education," he said, with superintendent Jon Fernandez adding, "I want to know what reverts means, does the debt revert to us? It goes back to DOE."

Fernandez questioned what debt obligations the school has entered into, and whether procurement law has been followed, adding DOE typically does not enter into obligations before money is appropriated.

We should add that the school's charter will be up for review later this year.

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