School opening set for August 24, 2020
The Department of Education (DepEd) has announced that academic year 2020-2021 for public elementary and high schools throughout the country will begin on August 24, 2020 and end on April 30, 2021.
This was outlined in DepEd Secretary Leonor Briones’ Department Order No. 7-2020 which was released May 11. According to Briones, students will have 203 class days for the next school year, which is in line with the number of school days required by Republic Act 7797.
In her order, Briones noted that pushing back the formal school opening by nearly three months from the traditional opening on the first Monday of June “is intended to afford DepEd enough time to undertake the necessary preparations in what will be an extraordinarily challenging school year” because of the ongoing coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.
Briones emphasized that even by August 24, he conduct of face-to-face classes in particular areas will be subject to the approval of the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases. School year 2020-2021 will last for just eight months, instead of the usual ten. Hence, Briones said she is authorizing the holding of Saturday classes through the conduct of distance learning for this school year.
Briones added that private schools and basic education units under state universities and colleges can begin their classes anytime between June and August 24 provided that these will not be done face-to-face. They are also required to submit to their respective DepEd Regional Offices a learning continuity plan, their school calendar for 2020-2021, as well as plans for compliance with the minimum health standards to be set by the government.
Here are some highlights from the released school calendar. The entire document has been embedded below as a reference.
1) Teachers will be required to render duty starting June 1 (Monday), so they can “attend orientation and training activities on the utilization of the distance learning delivery modalities, prepare instructional materials, and plan the organization of classes in consideration of the learning delivery modalities to be employed.” This can be done either physically or virtually.
2) Classes should be limited to just 15 to 20 students to observe physical distancing.
3) Each quarter will last for eight weeks: first quarter from August to October, second quarter from October to December, third quarter from January to February, and fourth quarter from February to April.
4) Students will no longer have their yearly “semestral break” toward the end of October.
5) The annual in-service training (INSET) for teachers will be held from December 14 to 18, 2020.
6) The Christmas vacation will be from December 19, 2020 to January 3, 2021. Classes will resume by January 4, 2021.
7) End-ofschool year rites will be held in the last week of April.
8) The conduct of curricular and co-curricular activities that involve gathering of large number of learners, such as science fairs, showcase of portfolios, trade fairs, school sports, campus journalism, festival of talents, job fairs, career orientation, and other similar activities are cancelled for the school year, except for those that can be conducted through online platform.