The Department of Education (DepEd) ensures the effective implementation of the K to 12 Basic Education Curriculum for every learner to acquire quality, accessible, relevant, and liberating basic education. The implementation of the K to 12 Curriculum provides opportunity and sufficient time for learners to acquire and master lifelong learning skills for the 21st century, and to experience learning beyond the classroom for more holistic development, in order to prepare the graduates for higher education, middle level skills development, and the world of work. Hence, schools and community learning centers (CLCs) are encouraged to adhere to the school calendar and activities to comply with the required number of school days for the optimum attainment of the learning standards as well as to ensure the observance of national/local school events and activities/celebrations. The school calendar also reflects the events and monthly celebrations/observances for the year.
The unprecedented outbreak of COVID-19, which resulted in the implementation of various forms of community quarantine, has, however, greatly affected the education system, including the school calendar. DepEd has been supporting the overall effort of the Philippine government to address this public health crisis by making informed, coordinated, and proportionate response, and adopting crucial policies to ensure continuity of quality education amidst the challenges of this crisis, hence the need to adjust the usual school calendar.
This policy aims to provide direction and guidance to schools and CLCs in planning their respective activities relative to curricular operations and other celebrations/observances within the required number of class days for School Year (SY) 2020-2021.
These Implementing Guidelines on the School Calendar and Activities for SY 2020-2021 shall be applicable to both public and private elementary and secondary schools including CLCs nationwide.
Private schools and state/local universities and colleges (SUCs/LUCs) offering basic education will be allowed to open classes within the period authorized by RA 7797, which is on the first Monday of June but not later than the last day of August, Provided:
No face-to-face classes will be allowed earlier than August 24, 2020, and from then on, face-to-face classes may be conducted only in areas allowed to open physically.
They submit in advance the following documents to the DepEd Regional Offices (ROs) for review and monitoring purposes:
Their school’s plan for compliance with minimum health standards that will be issued by DepEd, consistent with guidelines of the Department of Health (DOH), the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF), and the Office of President (OP);
Their school’s Learning Continuity Plan showing alternative delivery modes of learning when face-to-face learning is not allowed, which shall constitute compliance with the requirement provided under Item 6 of Annex 3, DepEd Order No. 021, s. 2019; and
Their school’s SY 2020-2021 School Calendar.
For the purpose of this policy, the operational definition of the following terms are as follows:
Awards Committee - a committee organized by the school head to establish processes of, standards, and timelines in determining qualifiers for awards as well as to deliberate on the qualifications of candidates for awards and recognition.
Class Days – consist of days when curricular and co-curricular activities are conducted within or outside school premises, including the home, devoted to the attainment of learning objectives and intended to ensure effective delivery of the curriculum.
Co-curricular Activities – activities and learning experiences that are undertaken side by side with the curricular activities. These learning experiences complement what learners are learning in school.
Curricular Activities – opportunities and experiences undertaken by the learners in the classrooms, laboratories, workshops, and homes as well as school-based and out-of-school activities conducted to ensure the learners’ acquisition of the K to 12 learning - and the 21st century skills.(DO 21 s., 2019)
Early Language Literacy and Numeracy Assessment (ELLNA) - an assessment administered at the end of Grade 3 as a key stage assessment to determine if learners are meeting the learning standards in early language, literacy, and numeracy.
Exit Assessment – a standardized set of examinations taken by learners in Years 6, 10, and 12. The test, which covers the 21st century skills, is designed to determine if learners are meeting the learning standards set forth in the K to 12 Basic Education Program.
In-Service Training (INSET) - a learning and development activity for teachers and staff that may include seminars, workshops, conferences, exhibitions and Learning Action Cells that are designed to update their knowledge, skills and competencies that will result to considerable evidence of improved teaching-learning and instructional leadership practices which enhance learners’ performance and competency levels.
National Career Assessment Examination (NCAE) – an aptitude test geared towards providing information through test results for self-assessment, career awareness, and career guidance of Grade 9 learners of the K to 12 Program.
Parent-Teacher Conference – an opportunity to bring parents and teachers together in partnership to support learners’ academic success and happiness. Teachers shall discuss with the parents the academic progress and social behavior of their children and showcase the outputs of the learners.
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. It is important to validate the enrollment, so that teachers and schools will be able to adequately plan the organization of their learners into classes, taking into consideration their particular circumstances.
The enrollees and/or their parents/guardians shall provide information through an enrollment and survey form (Enclosure No. 4). The enrollment and survey form is intended to collect important information to consider for the adoption of the relevant learning delivery strategies and modalities and to further provide support to learners for the school year.
Teachers shall encode the accomplished enrollment form in the Learner Information System (LIS) enrollment module which will be deployed on June 8, 2020. Various modalities will be employed to administer the form to maintain physical distancing. The detailed procedures for the deployment of the enrollment and survey forms shall be issued separately.
Brigada Eskwela and Oplan Balik Eskwela will be undertaken from June 1, 2020 to August 29, 2020. Oplan Kalusugan (OK) sa DepEd will be scheduled in September 2020. Separate guidelines for these activities will be issued.
Homeroom activities that include mental health and psychosocial activities, particularly psychological first aid for learners, discussions on the characteristics and effects of the pandemic, orientation on precautionary and preventive measures, such as water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH), and other topics related to COVID-19 pandemic shall be conducted on August 17–22, 2020.
Pursuant to the objectives of Sulong EduKalidad, schools shall strictly devote the eight (8) weeks of each academic quarter to teaching and learning activities. Learners must be made aware of their responsibility to engage actively in the learning process and participate according to the requirements in each learning area.
Given the differing circumstances and capacities by learners and households to cope with the new modalities of learning, a number of learners may be left behind. Thus, efforts to provide remediation and enhancement activities shall also be given more attention.
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.
A general assembly of stakeholders shall be conducted by all schools at the beginning of the school year to orient stakeholders on the vision, mission, and core values of DepEd, as well as curriculum, learning delivery, co-curricular programs, and ancillary services that support learners’ development and other continuous improvement initiatives, and to generate proposals. In addition, Mid-year (October) and Year-end (April) General Assemblies shall also be held to present the School Report Card (SRC) and consult the assembly on how to better achieve the vision, goals, and objectives. Schools shall decide on the appropriate mechanism for undertaking the activity, e.g. teleconferencing, face-to-face, etc., as appropriate.
Parent-Teacher Conferences (PTC) shall be done not earlier than the Second Saturday after the examinations for the first three Academic Quarters. It will be used as a venue to apprise the parents on the performance of their children and ensure their involvement in school activities. The school shall have the responsibility to determine the appropriate manner of undertaking the PTC. For parents without access to online conference, and where face-to-face is allowed, social distancing must be strictly observed. Report Cards shall be distributed to parents/guardians, where feasible, otherwise a scanned copy of the the Report Card may be uploaded online for access of only the learner and his/her parents or guardian, in consideration of the confidentiality of school records.
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:
Learners who will receive recognition and awards; and
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.
In preparation for the opening of classes for the SY 2021-2022, the schools shall conduct the following activities:
Early registration of incoming Kindergarten, Grades 1, 7 and 11 learners as well as locating, identifying and registering Special Education (SPED) learners, Out of School Children (OSC) and Out of School Youth (OSY) from the last Saturday of January to the last Friday of February, as stipulated in DepEd Order No. 3, s. 2018; and
Brigada Eskwela (to be announced).
The Bureau of Learning Delivery (BLD), the Curriculum Learning Management Division (CLMD), the Curriculum Implementation Division (CID), and the School Governance Operations Division (SGOD) shall monitor the compliance of schools with the provisions of these guidelines. Queries on these guidelines shall be addressed to the Office of the Director, BLD, via email address firstname.lastname@example.org or at telephone numbers (02) 8637-4346 and (02) 8637-4347.
37. These Guidelines shall be regularly evaluated and updated, as may be deemed necessary.