Guidelines on the Suspension of Classes and Work in Schools – The Department of Education issues DepEd Order No. 37, s. 2022 or the Guidelines on the Cancellation or Suspension of Classes and Work in Schools in the Event of Disasters and other Natural Calamities. This policy promotes the safety and protection of learners and personnel from unnecessary physical dangers that they may be exposed to during natural disasters and calamities. This Order is being issued to further guide schools, its personnel, and learners, both within the public and private institutions on the suspension of classes and work during emergencies.
Guidelines on the Suspension of Classes and Work in Schools
In-person, online classes and work from Kindergarten to Grade 12 and Alternative Learning System (ALS) are automatically canceled in schools situated in Local Government Units (LGUs) issued with Tropical cyclone Wind Signals (TCWS) 1, 2, 3, 4, or 5 by the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA).
If the TCWS is issued at a time when classes have already begun, the school shall immediately suspend the classes and work and send everyone home, if it is safe to do so. However, schools are obligated to keep the students and personnel safely in school if traveling has become unsafe.
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Local Chief Executives shall decide on the cancellation or suspension of classes in cases where there are strong winds in specific or all areas of the LGU but is not issued a TCWS.
In-person, online classes and work from Kindergarten to Grade 12 and Alternative Learning System (ALS) are automatically canceled in schools situated in LGUs issued with Orange and Red Rainfall Warning by the PAGASA.
If the Warning is issued at a time when classes have already begun, the school shall immediately suspend the classes and work and send everyone home, if it is safe to do so. However, school are obligated to keep the students an personnel safely in school if traveling has become unsafe.
Local Chief Executives shall decide on the cancellation or suspension of classes if their LGU is issued a Yellow Rainfall Warning by PAGASA or in cases where there are torrential rains in specific or all areas of the LGU but is not issued an Alert by PAGASA.
In-person, online classes and work from Kindergarten to Grade 12 and Alternative Learning System (ALS) are automatically canceled in schools in specific areas issued with a Flood Warning by the PAGASA.
If the Flood Warning is issued at a time classes have already begun, the school should immediately suspend the classes and work and send everyone home if it is safe to do so. However, schools are obligated to keep the students and personnel safely in school if traveling has become unsafe.
Local Chief Executives shall decide on the cancellation or suspension of classes in cases where there is flooding in specific or all areas of the LGU but is not issued a Flood Warning by PAGASA.
In-person, online classes and work from kindergarten to Grade 12 and Alternative Learning System (ALS) are automatically canceled in schools situated in LGUs where the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOCS) declares an earthquake with PHIVOLCS Earthquake Intensity Scale (PEIS) V or above.
Local Chief Executives shall decide on the cancelation or suspension of classes where the PEIS is IV and below.
School Principals can cancel classes at any Intensity Scale if, in their assessment, buildings and other structures are seen to be in danger of collapsing or are found to have major damage.
The School Disaster Risk Reduction and Management (DRRM) Team Head should clear the return of students and personnel in buildings and other structures.
Power Outages/Power Interruption/Brownouts
There will be no automatic cancellation or suspension of classes in the event that there are power outages/power interruptions/brownouts in schools. If power outages/power interruption/brownouts have resulted to poor learning environment, school officials can cancel or suspend classes at their own discretion.
Adjustments to Learning Delivery Due to Suspensions/Cancellations of Classes
In the event of canceled or suspended classes, modular distance learning, performance tasks, projects or make-up classes shall be implemented to ensure that learning competencies and objectives are still met.
In adherence to the provision of DepEd Order No. 14, s. 2021, learners who miss learning activities due to class suspensions brought about by various disruptions like disasters and/or emergencies due to natural or human-induced hazards shall be accorded due consideration in their attendance and the completion of their learning tasks.
Maintenance of Workforce and Activation of DRRM Teams
Teaching school personnel, including ALS teachers, and non-teaching school personnel in schools shall not be required to report to work, except those who are mandated to render security, safety, finance, engineering, sanitation, health, and disaster response duties.
Schools, on the other hand, must always be ready to implement remote work with measured output.
Central, Regional, and Schools Division Offices, and schools shall activate their DRRM Teams to prepare, monitor, and respond to the situation. DRRM Team members, particularly DRRM Coordinators and Engineers, shall be required to report to work in the aftermath of the disaster to continue undertaking response, early recovery, and reporting based on established DRRM protocols (e.g., an inspection of school facilities to vet damages as reported by School DRRM Coordinators, detailed assessment of damaged facilities for purposes of developing the PRogram of Works for infrastructure costing in rehabilitation and recovery plans, and participation in coordination meetings with LDRRMCs). Other DRRM Team members may likewise be required to report to work, as needed.
Officials of private schools may exercise discretion relative to the work arrangement of their DRRM personnel.
Use of schools as Evacuation Center or COVID-19 Quarantine and/or Isolation Facility/Vaccination Center
Schools shall not be used as quarantine and/or isolation facilities or vaccination centers. The authority given to Regional Directors in allowing schools to be designated as quarantine and/or isolation facilities/vaccination centers under Office Memorandum OM-Osec-2020-004 (Guidance to Regional Directors for Action Requests by Local Government Units to Use DepEd Schools and Engage DepEd Personnel in Activities Related to COVID-19), is hereby repealed. Office Memorandum OM-OSEC-2021-03-003 (Use of DepEd Classrooms and Other Facilities as Vaccination Centers) is likewise hereby repealed. Mobil vaccinations of not more than two days that do not disrupt classes or school co-curricular activities may be allowed.
In case of other disasters, school may be used as an immediate evacuation site which should not last for more than fifteen days. LGUs cannot use schools as long-term shelters for evacuees.
Conduct of Psychological First Aid
As the maintenance of a conducive learning environment requires addressing the immediate needs of affected learners and personnel in the aftermath of disasters, all Schools Division Offices, with the support of Regional Offices, shall assess the Mental Health and Psychosocial Support needs and services, and lead the conduct of Psychological First Aid (PFA). This shall include the mobilization of trained PFA providers and partners, and if needed, referral pathways for learners and personnel identified for further specialized psychological support services. Required health standards shall be always applied.
Responsibility of Parents or Guardians
The DepEd still maintains that parents or guardians have the ultimate responsibility for determining whether their children should attend classes in consideration of their physical and/or mental health during disasters and calamities. This applies even if no order for cancellation or suspension of classes has been issued.
Nonetheless, it shall also be the responsibility of the parents or guardians to ensure that their child is able to catch up with the needed competencies that the learners should master.
Monitoring and Evaluation – Guidelines on the Suspension of Classes and Work in Schools
The Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Service (DRRMS), in coordination with relevant DepEd Central (CO) offices and affected regions and divisions, shall continue leading the implementation of existing mechanisms for monitoring, reporting, and responding to the impacts of disasters on DepEd offices and schools. This includes the suspension of classes and work, the activation of DRRM Teams, and the delivery of PFA.
As part of the response operations during and in the aftermath of a disaster and/or emergency, the DRRMS monitors the suspension and resumption of classes which is being reported by the affected division offices. The reports on class suspension and resumption form part of the situation report and education cluster updates that the DRRMS submits to the DepEd Executive Committee, Management Committee, affected field offices, National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) and partners.
The Bureau of Learning Delivery under the Curriculum and Instruction Strand shall continue leading the monitoring, reporting, and response to needed adjustments to learning delivery strategies due to suspensions.
Repealing Clause – Guidelines on the Suspension of Classes and Work in Schools
All DepEd orders, memoranda, and other related issuances, rules, regulations, and provisions, which are inconsistent with these guidelines are repealed, rescinded, or modified accordingly.
Effectivity – Guidelines on the Suspension of Classes and Work in Schools
This order shall take effect immediately after its publication on the DepEd website as well as its filing with the Office of the National Administrative Registrar (ONAR) at the University of the Philippines (UP) Law Center, UP Diliman, Quezon City.
Guidelines on the Suspension of Classes and Work in Schools
Download: DepEd Order No. 37, S. 2022
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