Acting Superintendent assures only 11 teachers will be affected by cross-leveling--for nowWritten by Rebecca Elmore
Guam - It looks like 11 teachers have already been affected by the Guam Department of Education’s cross-leveling or the transferring of teachers from one school to the other. But Acting Superintendent Joe Sanchez assures that the first 11 are the only ones set to be moved around.
In a previous interview with PNC, Joe Sanchez stated that cross-leveling is just a part of the natural ebb and flow at GDOE. But now that the process has officially begun, the thought of transferring from one school district to another has already caused what Acting Superintendent Joe Sanchez calls unnecessary panic.
“We probably could of done this a little bit better with regards to informing both the admin and the teachers. I think a lot of information got out --a lot of raw data got out in the preliminary stages and without people kind of knowing what the process was, it caused a lot of undue panic. And of course, after that information got out, a lot of our time was spent speaking to people saying ‘no, this is not what’s happening’,” he said.
For the 11 school teachers that have already had to transfer school districts, the acting superintendent assures that each teacher was notified as early as December, that there are no pay cuts involved, and that 10 of the 11 teachers transferred were elementary teachers.
“Yes, 10 out of 11 are elementary. And all the teachers have already been informed and they have already been discussed about what schools they are going to going to. And again, the most important is that they are going to be moving into schools that have a need for an actual teacher. So they are actually going to be filling a vacancy or a need for an actual teacher. So, it's filling those vacancies," he said.
Cross-leveling concerns surfaced last month after rumors floated within the department that certain teachers and administrators would be affected. With all the different definitions of cross-leveling floating around, Sanchez wants to set the record straight and tells PNC that people should really think of it as maximizing the amount of teachers we have on island.
“I would say it's maximizing our teacher resources, ya know? Again, I’ve said this on some occasions knowing that GDOE has the largest budget in the government and personnel is really the largest portion of our budget and it's really our responsibility to maximize the resource that we have. And it’s not just teachers, it’s also staff. So there's gonna be a big effort to work with the schools as to identify their staffing needs and make sure there's an equitable distribution,” he said.
He also adds that the 11 teachers are the only teachers the department plans to have moved at least for now.
“If we do find out that cross-leveling is needed over in the summer, we're gonna come up with that process earlier on and then hopefully get the numbers, preliminary numbers set around March because April is actually the deadline for teachers to request for transfer for the following school year,” he said.
Sanchez also wanted to reiterate that it's the schools not GDOE that identifies which teachers need to be moved in the first place.