DepEd issues guidelines on school calendar, activities for School Year 2020-2021

MANILA (Bicol Standard) -- The Department of Education released the Implementing Guidelines on the School Calendar and Activities for School Year 2020-2021.

According to DepEd Order No. 007, Series of 2020, these aim to ensure that the number of class days required for curriculum operations and school-related activities are complied with and standard school events and celebrations/observances are being conducted during the school year to ensure quality teaching and holistic learning.

Said guidelines shall be applicable public and private elementary and secondary schools, including Community Learning Centers nationwide.

For SY 2020-2021, schools shall formally start the conduct of teaching and learning activities on August 24, 2020 while the end of the SY shall be April 30, 2021.

It shall consist of 203 class days inclusive of the pre-school opening assignments exploring foundational topics for deepening during the year, orientation on the utilization of alternative learning delivery modalities and corresponding learners’ materials, and conduct of mental health and psychosocial support activities.

The learning intervention for Alternative Learning System (ALS) shall formally open on the same date, while its program duration will depend on the learner’s educational background or existing knowledge level prior to enrolling in the ALS program.

School opening will not necessarily mean traditional face-to-face learning in classroom. The physical opening of schools will depend on the risk severity grading or classification of a locality, pursuant to guidelines of the DOH, the IATF or the OP.

Even in areas where schools are allowed to open, physical distancing will still be required, which will necessitate schools to combine face-to-face learning with distance learning.

Schools and CLCs, under the supervision of the regional and schools division offices, are authorized to decide on the specific learning delivery modalities which may be deemed appropriate in their context. 

Where face-to-face modality is allowed, there shall only be a maximum of 15 to 20 learners in each class in compliance with the social distancing measures set by the DOH.

Because of the compressed school year, the Secretary is authorizing the holding of Saturday classes, through the conduct of distance learning activities to be undertaken by learners, pursuant to Republic Act No. 7797.

Should religious considerations prohibit these Saturday activities, they shall be undertaken on Sundays. However, teachers will not be required to report for work and engage in teaching activities on Saturdays and Sundays.

Teachers shall start rendering service on June 1, 2020, upon completion of summer vacation on May 31, 2020. They will 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. 

If skeleton workforce will still be the operative government guidelines by June, DepEd shall issue the appropriate alternative work arrangements guidelines to the field to comply with prevailing policy, and to ensure safe work environment.

Schools shall conduct enrollment from June 1–30, 2020 for all learners intending to attend SY 2020-2021, including those who enrolled during the early registration period, given that circumstances have changed substantially. 

Classroom assessment, namely, formative and summative assessments shall be conducted by the teachers to track and measure learners’ progress and to adjust instruction accordingly. These shall be done through paper-based, offline or online assessment format, whichever is appropriate to the context and needs of the learners, to enable them to participate fully in the assessment process and be assessed fairly. The last two days of each academic quarter shall be devoted to the administration of quarterly assessment.

At the national level, the Bureau of Education Assessment (BEA) shall administer the National Career Assessment Examination (NCAE) to assess the aptitude and interest of learners and provide them with relevant information on their skills, abilities, and readiness for academic and non-academic courses. The Early Language Literacy and Numeracy Assessment (ELLNA) shall be conducted to measure the literacy skills of the learners in their respective Mother Tongues (MT), Filipino and English.

The Exit Assessments such as National Achievement Tests (NAT) shall also be administered for
Grades 6, 10, and 12 to determine if learners are meeting the learning standards set forth in the K to 12 Basic Education Program.

The Accreditation and Equivalency Test shall also be administered to measure the competencies of those who have not finished either formal elementary or secondary education. National assessments shall be conducted, subject to guidelines by the DOH, the IATF, and the OP.

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.

The conduct of activities related to Palarong Pambansa shall be decided separately by the Palarong Pambansa Board.

Career guidance activities shall be conducted between September 2020 and January 2021 to guide Grades 9 and 10 learners in making informed choices on their preferred Senior High School track using modalities applicable in the learner’s situation. 

College and middle level skills fair, job fair, business, SHS summits and entrepreneurship expo, and similar activities shall be cancelled.

All public gatherings shall be organized following guidelines and protocols set by the DOH, the IATF, and the OP.

Christmas break shall begin on Saturday, December 19, 2020. Classes shall resume on Monday, January 4, 2021.

Deliberation of awards and recognition may be conducted two weeks before the graduation or moving-up ceremonies by the School Awards Committee (AC) for the following:

a. Learners who will receive recognition and awards; and
b. Learners who are candidates for graduation.

Accomplishment of year-end financial clearance of learners is strictly prohibited in accordance with the Department’s No Collection Policy.

Remedial, advancement and enrichment classes during summer shall begin on Monday, May 3, 2021 and end on Friday, June 11, 2021.