Service Learning Waiver Not For Incoming Sophomores, Juniors | Guam News
Sophomores and incoming public high school juniors will have to work a little harder to earn their 75 hours of service learning needed to graduate — unless another waiver is passed.
GDOE Superintendent Jon Fernandez told members of the Guam Education Board that the recently passed waiver, in the form of Bill 287-36, signed by the Governor into Public Law 36-96, only applies. to graduate students in 2022 and 2023.
“Just so the board is aware, the Service Learning Act, the bill we introduced was to exempt all currently enrolled students, which means all freshmen, sophomores year, juniors and seniors. It was later amended by the Legislative Assembly to cover only juniors and seniors for this year,” GDOE Superintendent Jon Fernandez said.
Guam law requires GDOE high school students to complete 75 hours of service-learning over a four-year period. The COVID-19 pandemic interrupted three school years: 2019-2020, 2020-2021 and 2021-2022. And the disruption wasn’t just in the classrooms. GDOE officials, in their waiver request, noted that service-learning hours are earned by working with local community organizations or government agencies, which have faced pandemic-related closures or restrictions. , reducing the chances of earning service-learning hours these last three schools. years.
Fernandez noted that a previous waiver, passed by senators last year, also did not cover freshmen and sophomores.
“This would have applied to those who were freshmen and older in 2019-20. Now that we are in 2021-2022, we have two new classes that were not covered by this exemption, but were also affected by the COVID-19 closures. For this reason, they should be covered by a similar exemption or they will be required to double the service-learning requirements in their final two years,” Fernandez said in April.
However, there has been good news since then. Guam has reopened in recent months. Governor Lou Leon Guerrero has lifted pandemic restrictions on crowds and most organizations have resumed meetings and activities, providing more opportunities for freshmen, sophomores and juniors in the upcoming school year. to volunteer and earn hours of service learning.