On the expansion phase of limited face-to-face classes
February 2, 2022 – Given the President’s approval of the recommendation for the progressive expansion of face-to-face classes, Education Secretary Leonor Magtolis Briones has authorized all regional directors to commence the progressive expansion phase of face-to-face classes for both public and private schools.
Pending the issuance of a Revised Joint Memorandum for the expansion phase, the main protocols and standards in the DepEd-DOH Joint Memorandum Circular 001, s. 2021 shall remain applicable as appropriate, with the following main parameters for inclusion:
- Expansion schools have been validated as compliant with the standards of School Safety Assessment Tool (SSAT)
- Schools must be located in areas under alert levels 1 and 2 based on the periodic risk assessment by Department of Health
- Schools may already include other grade levels based on the capacity of schools
- Schools or Division must have secured the concurrence of the Local Chief Executive in the City or Municipality where the expansion school is located, and the schools must also have taken the proper coordination with their respective barangay officials.
- Students participating in the face-to-face classes must have the written consent of their parents.
- Schools are given flexibility in contact time for teaching and learning, provided that meals are not taken in school except during managed recess.
- Only vaccinated teachers may participate in the face-to-face classes, and vaccinated learners shall be preferred.
Following the directive by Secretary Briones for Regions to conduct the readiness assessment in all schools during the pilot implementation period, the Regional Directors have submitted a list of 6,686 schools nationwide that have passed the SSAT, of which 6,586 are public schools and 100 are private schools. This list will progressively increase as the rest of the schools are able to address their respective SSAT gaps.
Based on the COVID Alert Levels for February 1 to 15, 2022 as issued under IATF Resolution No. 159-A date January 29, 2022, a total of 304 public schools are located in Alert Level 2 Areas, including: 118 schools in NCR cities; 12 in Batanes; 106 in Bulacan; 33 in Cavite; 21 in Rizal; 5 in Biliran, and 9 in Southern Leyte.
As of today, no face-to-face classes are ongoing because the schools are on their mid-year break for February 2-5 under SY 2021-2022 Calendar. The Academic Quarter 3 is set to start on February 7, but certain divisions may start on a later date following the class suspensions during the Omicron surge and on account of Typhoon Odette in certain affected areas.
During the joint Execom-Mancom meeting held on February 2, 2022, the Regional Directors with areas under Alert Level 2 reported varying commencement dates for their expansion phases, as follows:
NCR – The original 28 pilot schools will resume on February 9, while the expansion schools will progressively start their classes from February 9 onwards.
Region II (Cagayan Valley) – The 12 recommended schools in SDO Batanes (now under Alert Level 2) are ready to implement the expanded face-to-face classes. The SDO is also securing the concurrence of the Local Chief Executives where the 12 schools are strategically located. Should the LGUs approve the conduct, face-to-face classes in Batanes will start next week (February 7-11).
Region III (Central Luzon) – There are 106 schools in four SDOs of Bulacan that are ready to start face-to-face classes on February 21, 2022.
Region IV-A (CALABARZON) – A total of 57 schools from eight SDOs in the provinces of Rizal (21 schools) and Cavite (36 schools) (under Alert Level 2) are slated to participate in the expanded phase of the limited face-to-face classes. These schools have complied with the requirements of the SSAT and are now in the process of securing concurrence from the LGUs. Expanded face-to-face classes will start on February 14, in time for the start of the third quarter.
Region VIII (Eastern Visayas) – In Southern Leyte and Biliran City SDOs that are in Alert Level 2, three schools of SDO Southern Leyte will start classes on February 7 while Maasin City (seven schools) and Biliran City (6 schools) will kick off on February 14.
The rest of the Regions, as well as Divisions in the above Regions outside of those already under Alert Level 2, are continuing their preparations for the expanded phase of face-to-face classes in anticipation of improvement in the COVID Alert Level in their respective areas.