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DepEd Classroom Layout and Structure on the Limited Face-To-Face Learning Modality

Attached herewith is Section of DepEd-DOH Joint Memorandum Circular No. 3, s. 2021 dated September 27, 2021, on the Operational Guidelines on the Implementation of Limited Face-to-Face Learning Modality.

Classroom Layout and Structure on the Implementation of Limited Face-To-Face Learning Modality

Classrooms shall be arranged to ensure the safety of learners from COVID-19 transmission following the prescribed classroom layout (Annex D). The physical arrangement of chairs and other furniture inside the classroom shall ensure proper physical distancing. Those seats that will be occupied shall be 1 to 2 meters apart while those which will not be occupied shall be marked with an “X”.

After ensuring that the required physical distance of seats in each classroom is observed, the school shall also take into consideration the required maximum number of learners per class. The allowable number of learners in every classroom, including those in Special Education (SPED), special curricular programs, multigrade classes, TVL workshops, and other laboratory activities, shall be in accordance with the following standards:

  • Kindergarten: maximum of 12 learners in a class
  • Grades 1 – 3: maximum of 16 learners in a class
  • Grades 4 – 6: maximum of 20 learners in a class
  • Grades 7 – 10: maximum of 20 learners in a class
  • Grades 11 – 12 maximum of 20 learners in a class
  • TVL workshop and science laboratory – maximum of 12 learners in a workshop/laboratory

If the classroom does not have adequate space to enforce the 1- to 2-meter distance between seats, the school may adopt the following:

  • larger spaces in the school such as the gymnasium, school grounds, and the like may be repurposed as learning spaces
  • available learning spaces in the community near the school or residential area of the learners and teachers

Schools may consider providing microphones or any other appropriate sound system for teachers to facilitate teaching in a physically distanced setup.

All (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) HVAC systems should be in working order with increased ventilation whenever possible thru the following recommended strategies as cited in DOLE Department Order No. 224-21 Guidelines on Ventilation for Workplaces and Public Transport to Prevent and Control the Spread of COVID-19.

All classrooms must have working electric fans, and windows and doors shall be open at all times to maximize natural airflow. In air-conditioned spaces where ventilation is greatly recirculated or access to outside air is not feasible, filters such as high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filtration air purifiers can be used to clean recirculated air, provided that the unit is adequate for the size of the room in which it is installed. Proper maintenance should be ensured by following manufacturer recommendations of these devices.

Outdoor (Open): maximize natural airflow

Indoor (enclosed): Install appropriate ventilation equipment such as general and exhaust ventilation and CO2 monitoring devices, to achieve an air change rate of 6 to 12 Air Change per Hour (ACH).

School Traffic Management

The school shall establish safe entrance, exit, and contact tracing procedures for all those entering school premises (learners, teachers, parents/guardians, school personnel, etc.) Likewise, drop-off and pick up points shall be clearly identified and marked. The area for drop-off and pick up points shall be different to deter overcrowding in the area. Only private vehicles or regulated public vehicles shall be allowed to fetch the learner. There shall be Separate Entry and Exit points in high traffic areas by installation of signages and markers for cueing and unidirectional movement.

Schools shall put signages, preferably in local languages and Braille in the following:

  • School map at the front gate indicating the location of the classrooms (this may also be used as a guide for points of exit/ evacuation during emergencies)
  • Designated entrance and exit (for the school gate and classrooms)
  • Designated waiting area for parents/ guardians/ chaperones with strict observation of physical distancing at all times. Limit to one (1) person allowed to fetch per learner.
  • Hallway ground markings for walking direction guide
  • Areas where physical capacity may be limited (e.g. restroom, library, school administrative office, among others.)

Authorized visitors shall schedule an appointment with the school head to limit the number of people in the school premises. All visitors shall be required to follow health protocols and screening, provide a copy of identification to school administrators and fill out a form (physical or online) indicating their name, contact details, address, date and time of visit and purpose.

Protective measures, hygiene and sanitation practices and respiratory etiquette. To ensure the protection of personnel and learners, the following shall be implemented:

The school shall set up and ensure the availability of proper sanitation and hygiene facilities following the basic requirements and standard in accordance with DO 10 s. 2016 [Comprehensive Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH)] such as:

  • Adequate and Safe Water Supply
  • Hand washing station or sink
  • Antibacterial soap or 70% Isopropyl/Ethyl Alcohol

The school shall ensure that handwashing facilities are set up in a strategic location (e.g. school entrance).

The school shall ensure that each learner, teacher, and personnel have access to the following upon return to school:

  • Cloth/washable face masks
  • 1 toothbrush and 1 toothpaste (K-6 learners)
  • 1 bar of soap (K-6 learners)

The school clinic shall ensure the availability of Emergency Health Kits that include PPEs and other needed supplies and materials. The PPEs shall be available for COVID-19 DRRM team members, health personnel, maintenance, and security guards. The use of PPEs shall be guided by the DOH Department Memorandum 2020-0176A Amendment to DOH Department Memorandum 2020-0176 Interim Guidelines on the Rational Use of Personal Protective Equipment for COVID-19 as summarized in the tables below:

Table 1. PPE requirement depending on the type of activity

Triage and screening of individuals in points of entry (for personnel in school entrances)Medical mask with face shields
Caring for a suspected case of COVID-19 with no aerosol-generating procedure (for personnel in school clinics)Medical mask, goggles or face shield, gloves, gown
Caring for suspected/ confirmed cases of COVID- 19 with aerosol-generating procedure (for personnel in school clinics)Respirator (N95 or FFP2), goggles or face shield, gloves, gown
Assisting in transporting passengers to a healthcareFull PPE

For PPE maintenance, secure the storage area so it is not frequented by unauthorized personnel.

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Mark Anthony Llego

Mark Anthony Llego, hailing from the Philippines, has made a profound impact on the teaching profession by enabling thousands of teachers nationwide to access crucial information and engage in meaningful exchanges of ideas. His contributions have significantly enhanced their instructional and supervisory capabilities, elevating the quality of education in the Philippines. Beyond his domestic influence, Mark's insightful articles on teaching have garnered international recognition, being featured on highly respected educational websites in the United States. As an agent of change, he continues to empower teachers, both locally and internationally, to excel in their roles and make a lasting difference in the lives of their students, serving as a shining example of the transformative power of knowledge-sharing and collaboration within the teaching community.

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