The debate over how to handle makeup school days continued downtown at the Guam Legislature this afternoon. Bill 69, introduced by Senator Rory Respicio, would prevent makeup days from occurring on the scheduled Christmas and Easter breaks.

Respicio said the bill aims to benefit students and administrators by ensuring their travel plans are not impacted by unforeseen changes in the school calendar. Guam Education Board calendar committee chair Rosie Tainatango said the membership supports the intent of Bill 69, noting, "The committee recommends there be further amendments to provide greater flexibility."

Specifically, the board would like the requirement for 180 instructional days be changed to 180 days, or "its equivalent". Department of Education superintendent Jon Fernandez said, "The flexibility that we're proposing would try to accommodate the 180 days or its equivalent and give some flexibility to the department, and so we would be supportive of that."

Some alternatives include using professional development days or part of parent teacher conference days for makeup. "Or to look at additional time at the end of the school day to equate with what we consider six hours for the elementary schools and the seven-hour days in high schools," Fernandez added.

This means extending the length of existing school days rather than adding additional days, something Speaker Judi Won pat says she supports. Senator Respicio said another option would allow students to receive instructional time without ever coming to school. The senator said, "The superintendent has mentioned it you could provide for some written assignment and if some percentage of the school population complies with that assignment then the board can deem that it's not necessary to provide for that makeup day."

GEB chairman Peter Alexis Ada asked the Legislature to consider the board's recommendations and come to a decision as soon as possible so the calendar for School Year 2016 can be finalized.