We are in the midst of a strange situation. The community quarantines brought about by the pandemic have transported the education community into some kind of a “twilight zone.”
For those of us using the School of Tomorrow® System, the experiences are varied.
Some schools -that started early in June- were able to complete their school year before the community quarantine was implemented. So, they did not have to employ the Remote Learning Center mode for their students. All they had to do is complete their records to officially close the academic year. They were “raptured” but the rest were left behind to go through, not really a “tribulation,” but a challenging transition period.
There were basically three unique situations the rest of the schools experienced:
- School work continued through the Remote Learning Center Education – This was the most ideal setup because students were able to continue working under the remote supervision of the staff. Yes, there were challenges – like connectivity and technical knowledge of staff, parents, and students – but this was still the best option. And SOT® is blessed to have this option available to our schools.
- Remote Learning Centers were implemented but aborted because of local executive orders to stop any form of online classes. The seriousness of the problem here depends on at which point of the fourth quarter the schooling was halted.
- School work stopped completely upon the implementation of community quarantines due to reasons beyond anyone’s control – no internet capability, lack of materials (shipping and delivery services were not available) and, sadly, for some, parents refused the online arrangement.
The question of a number of school heads is this: HOW DO WE END THE SCHOOL YEAR? Let us start with a few essentials that need to be determined:
- The school year has to end. We cannot continue in a “wait and see” mode. The school administration has to peg a “last day.” Whether you have completed a 9-week cycle or you have to cut the last quarter on the 7th week, decide the end date. If you started in August, you have a reason to continue on till May. But again, it depends on your situation.
- Records have to be completed. Progress Reports – 4th Quarter and Annual – have to be prepared – prepare the soft copy if possible so printing can be done upon lifting of quarantine. Some families may need soft copies. Never send editable copies – always send PDF files. DepEd requirements have to be prepared and submitted. Most division offices, if not all, will extend considerable grace because of the unusual circumstances.
- Graduation and Moving Up Ceremonies are to be scheduled after the quarantine period. Take note that social distancing may still be required in these activities. Most schools have cancelled other year-end events.
Suggestions and Recommendations for wrapping up the School Year
Please bear in mind that these recommendations are being made because of the crisis we are going through. The Remote Learning Center Education is offered only during situations when students will not be allowed to physically attend school as part of disaster and/or crisis management. These suggestions apply to the “NOW” situation:
- You may give a 4th Quarter Grade in a subject for the PACEs completed even if the Academic Projection recommendation was not completed. The advantage of our system is that if a student does not finish all PACEs for the school year, he can continue working through summer or pick up next school year from where he left off.
- You may adjust the requirements for 4th Quarter Honors – example: if you have to end by the 6th or 7th week, two stars per subject may be considered as adequate.
- You may give special consideration for students working way above their age. For example, a student in the second year of Junior High is working the 1130’s already, you may reward him with a special recognition. Or adjust the Honor Requirements for him.
- For those completing Junior High School (or elementary) but cannot finish some PACEs, promote them with a signed agreement that they will complete the remaining PACEs before the start of the next school year. In other words, do summer work.
We are praying that this pandemic will end soon and we can return to “normal” operations. But if this situation extends, we are confident that we can provide continuous learning to our students. The “normal” for SOT® system is that it is individualized and our delivery mode works in the midst of prolonged class suspensions. Students are trained to be self-regulated and teachers provide supervision to facilitate the Learning Center process. It is also a venue to work well with our education partners – the parents.
During this difficult time, it is an opportunity to show grace because, at this point in time, we all need a greater measure of grace. In wrapping up the school year, let us be flexible and recognize the adequate and satisfactory completion of requirements by our students.