September 24, 2021

Dear Brent Families,

The Philippines government recently announced approval for a face-to-face pilot program proposed by the Department of Education. This has naturally led to many questions about whether Brent International School Manila will be participating. The pilot is still in the process of being finalized, but given this is such a high interest topic, let me provide a bullet point summary of what is currently known.

  • Brent is continuing to communicate directly with the Department of Education through the Regional Director for Calabarzon, and we have requested to be considered for any programs implementing face-to-face classes.
  • DepEd is still finalizing the official list of participating schools.
  • Our region, Calabarzon, currently has only 5 remote schools that would qualify as low risk areas, and none of those are in Laguna.
  • The few schools that qualify must receive a written waiver from parents and permission from local government units for the pilot to push through.
  • Only Kindergarten to Grade 3 and vocational students from senior high schools would be included.
  • Any classes conducted would be only every other week, and be limited to 3-4 hours a day.

The above points are still subject to change, especially considering that joint guidelines of the Department of Education and the Department of Health have not been finalized and no start date has been given. The points represent, though, our most current information.

Brent has implemented all the known health and safety standards expected for face-to-face instruction including: personal protective equipment, sanitation, detection and referral, ventilation, contact tracing, quarantine, coordination, and contingency measures. Unfortunately, we cannot change the risk level of the region in which we reside.

Regardless of its limited scope, the approved pilot program is a positive indicator that the country as a whole is beginning to look toward opening schools in the future. We are eager to have our students back in classrooms, and we will continue working with the government to make that a reality.

Whenever the opportunity is given we will carefully assess all guidelines and the potential impacts they may have on both our students’ health and education. This will include input from our families. We plan to send a survey regarding your comfort level in sending your children back to school after clear guidelines for our return to classes have been established by the governing authorities.

In the meantime, we are proud to continue delivering a quality online program, and we remain hopeful for the future. God bless you all.

Jason Atkins