Students from the UST Education High School start their first day of face-to-face classes on Tuesday, Aug. 30, for the first time amid the Covid-19 pandemic. (Photo by Francia Denise M. Arizabal/ The Varsitarian)

UST’S TWO junior high schools are now reopened to students as the UST Education High School (EHS) began its face-to-face (F2F) classes on Aug. 30, days after the UST Junior High School (JHS) started in-person classes.

The EHS is eyeing to transition to full F2F classes by November 2022.

Each section was divided into two cohorts to accommodate only 22 to 23 students per class, Assoc. Prof. Marielyn Quintana, the EHS principal, told the Varsitarian

Only 175 students, half of the EHS student population, will be accommodated per cohort to avoid overcrowding.

There are two schedules in each cohort: a half-day schedule from 7 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and a full-day schedule from 7 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

The Department of Education has required schools to hold five days of F2F classes a week starting Nov. 2. 

EHS students are required to wear their Type B shirts, full-length jeans, and rubber shoes for the F2F classes. Students who have yet to purchase Type B uniforms may wear white shirts instead.

Health protocols

Students were required to submit a parent’s consent form on Aug. 25 before joining the in-person classes.

They are required to bring their identification and vaccination cards throughout the first quarter and update their Thomasian Online Medical Support System (ThOMedSS) health declaration checklists before entering the building. 

“As of the moment, our tapping system is not yet functioning well, so we asked them to bring a hard copy of their vaccination card as well as their ID so once they enter the building, they will go directly to the classroom,” Quintana said. 

Unvaccinated students need to present a negative antigen test taken two days before their scheduled in-person classes. The antigen result is valid for only one schedule.

Students are advised to bring a health kit that contains alcohol, hand soap, tissue, wet wipes, and extra face masks.

Quintana said the EHS would not sanction students wearing ill-fitting masks or incomplete health kits, but students would be reminded and monitored.

Students are also required to bring their own snacks, lunch, and water, and are not allowed to leave their classrooms and the Albertus Magnus Building during their meal breaks.

They are allowed to bring their mobile phones to school, but these could only be used for emergencies.

Students are allowed to go outside their classrooms only for restroom breaks.

If a student falls ill during class hours, teachers are instructed to coordinate with the EHS office so they can endorse the student to the Health Service.

Students, teachers and staff who contract Covid-19 and become exposed to the virus will not be allowed to join the in-person classes until they recover. They are required to secure a permit before rejoining F2F classes.

Parents of the students may stay at the benches near the building but need to download the StaySafe.PH app, present their proof of vaccination and observe other health protocols.

The UST EHS will conduct its first quarter examinations onsite from Oct. 5 to 8, Quintana said.

“There will be a schedule, and, at the same time, we still have cohort systems during the exams because we only have eight sections, so they will only come during their exams,” the principal said.

On Aug. 25, the JHS welcomed Grade 10 students back on campus for the first time since the Covid-19 pandemic broke out, starting a transition to full F2F classes by October.

The JHS’s Grade 9 students are scheduled to join the in-person classes on Sept. 6, while Grade 7 and Grade 8 students are set to return to campus on Sept. 13 and 15, respectively. Justin Benedict T. Lim


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