May 4, 2020

Dear Brent Families,

Please see several updates below as we prepare to wrap up the school year. We enter the last few weeks of this semester on a very strong footing given the unusual global circumstances. We were able to complete three quarters of face-to-face instruction. Years of preparation with a variety of online tools allowed our faculty to pivot quickly to deliver online instruction. The situation is challenging, but we will continue to adapt as needed.

Completing the year online:
As I am sure most of you are aware, the enhanced community quarantine has been extended until May 15 for Metro Manila, Laguna, and most places where our students reside. Consequently, we have decided to complete all classes for the year online through the last day of school.

IB Seniors:
Our full IB diploma students finished all their final high school requirements as of April 29! All their requirements were submitted to IB on time. Students should receive their results from IB by early July, as usual.

Student Support:
Stress and anxiety caused by uncertainty and seven weeks of quarantine can be quite high. Our counselors have been reaching out to students, and many of our students have reached out to teachers and counselors for support. We are very cognizant of the challenges online learning creates. Please encourage your children to bring any concerns, fears or questions they have about their classes, homework or grades directly to their teachers. With a few weeks left in the school year, there is still time to work on any issues they may be dealing with.

Last Day for Nursery, Pre-K and Kinder is May 13:
The last day for Nursery through Kinder will be May 13th. Several online year-end celebrations are being planned for the 13th.

Last Day for Grades 1-12 is May 20:
The final day for regular classes and makeup exams is May 20. A Middle School online awards and celebration ceremony is being planned for that day as are grade level awards and celebrations for grades 1-5.

Graduation is May 22:
We continue to hold out hope for a face-to-face graduation ceremony, however, we are preparing for the real possibility of an online ceremony. Whether it is face-to-face or online, our graduation date and time will remain May 22 at 6:00pm. Details will follow when we have more information regarding the post May 15 quarantine.

We are hopeful that a less restrictive quarantine may allow families to return books and other materials for clearance after May 15. Perhaps at least accessing a bank for the Reservation and Reenrollment fee will become easier. We have sent out lists of materials that have been checked out to help families identify and collect what they need to return. We will plan an extended schedule of drop off times into late May or June. Once the quarantine is relaxed and a safe procedure for returning materials and making payments has been established, we will send an update and guidance.

Busing Refunds:
Many families have expressed their desire that our drivers, mechanics and bus attendants be provided for during this difficult time. Rest assured we are continuing to pay their salaries throughout the school year. Once the semester is over, we will assess the provision of some credit or pro-rated refunds for families who paid for fourth quarter transportation.

Next Semester:
We are currently considering some minor calendar adjustments for the start of next school year. An exact start date will be provided soon, and more information will be provided as we review our options and assess government mandates. We may need to start classes online before moving to face-to-face instruction, but that decision will be delayed as long as possible. With three months before the start of school a lot can change, and we pray it is for the better. Rest assured our students will continue receiving a quality education this coming Fall.

Tuition for 2020-2021:
There will be no tuition increase for the next school year and no increase in busing rates. This will be our third year without a tuition increase. The last increase was 2% in 2017-2018. Our ability to go a third year without an increase highlights the wise long-term financial planning of Brent’s Board. Brent is in a sound financial position, and by deferring some expenses, we will be able to weather this storm. We recognize many businesses and individuals are experiencing financial distress, and we hope deferring any rate increases will help our families manage these difficult times.

Reservation and Reenrollment:
As mentioned in an earlier email, we have delayed the Reservation and Reenrollment deadline until June 10. It will, however, be a great help to receive those forms and payments as soon as families can provide them.

It is impossible to predict what the next several months will bring, but please rest assured that we will continue to monitor developments. We will provide updates via email and our website as the new school year approaches.

We are extremely grateful for the many blessings that allow us to navigate this pandemic and to continue educating our students. Our prayers are with those who are facing hardships. We look forward to a time when we can join together in person again.

Jason Atkins