April 1, 2020

Dear Brent Family,

We hope to return to regular classroom instruction on April 15, but we must also prepare for the possibility that the current quarantine will be extended. Given the present global trajectory of the pandemic and being conscious of individual family disruptions and your need to make future plans, Brent International School Manila is making several adjustments to the school year regardless of whether or not we return to classroom instruction.

Priority will be given to completing educational requirements so that our students will have the educational background and transcripts necessary to successfully continue on to the next grade level.

It deeply pains me to cancel a number of long-cherished assemblies and ceremonies, but even if we return to classrooms, it seems likely that large gatherings will continue to be discouraged. Streamlining the school year now will free some time and headspace for teachers and students to focus on their end-of-year lessons.

The opportunities to reflect and to celebrate accomplishments are important, and we encourage families to find ways to formally recognize their children’s hard work. We will also continue looking for alternative ways to recognize and celebrate our students. That being said, the following events will no longer be held in person regardless of whether or not we return to classroom instruction:

Easter Eucharist
Weekly chapel/assemblies
Thursday Late Start Professional Development
Festival of the Arts Week (all events)
MAP Testing
Student Council elections (they will be held at the start of next school year)
Science Week
Activities Awards Assembly (awards will still be given)
School Level Awards Assemblies (awards will still be given)
Moving-Up Day (awards will still be given)
After School clubs and activities (originally scheduled to end April 23)

The school year can end several days earlier given the additional instructional time gained by eliminating assemblies, Late Start Thursdays, and MAP testing. Therefore, final exams will run Thursday, May 14 through Tuesday, May 19. Makeup exams and the final day of classes will be held on Wednesday, May 20.

We will be communicating with our seniors and considering a variety of options for graduation. A ceremony in whatever form it may take will be held on Friday, May 22.

The first day of classes for students next school year (2020-2021) will be moved to Monday, August 10 in order to add a bit more flexibility into everyone’s summer planning. We will use distance learning during typhoon days next semester, which should mitigate any lost instructional time.

I am hopeful that these changes, though disappointing, will allow everyone to remove some of the unknowns and provide greater latitude in planning.

Jason Atkins