28 April 2020
Dear Parents, Faculty, and Staff of Xavier School,
Easter greetings to everyone! I hope and pray that during this time of Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ), you and your loved ones are staying home to prioritize health and safety. This is also the school’s priority for all our stakeholders.
In response to the Covid-19 pandemic, the alumni association organized the Kalinga Kontra Korona (KKK) initiative in San Juan. The community’s response has been very generous, and I thank the students, faculty, and staff who have been participating, including participation through the online content available at the Kiko’s Corner website. We have raised more than twenty million pesos in cash, plus many donations in kind that allow us to sponsor the Kalinga Center in San Juan and to send assistance to several other healthcare facilities around the country.
At the Nuvali campus, we granted the request of Qualimed Hospital-Sta. Rosa to temporarily house their healthcare workers as the hospital serves as a Covid-19 treatment center. They are now staying at the David M. Consunji Administration Building, where we have dormitory facilities and multi-purpose rooms. I would like to thank the Nuvali parents who have started supporting them, our GIA students, and our stay-in security personnel, with food donations through the “XSN Cares” initiative.
Many of you have contacted the school asking about enrollment details and the plans for school year 2020-2021. School administrators and the Board of Trustees have done a lot of discussion and planning, and we recognize that the worldwide Covid-19 pandemic will take much more time to bring under control. We expect an extended period of time where face masks have to be worn at all times, physical distancing observed, and big gatherings avoided, among other precautionary measures.
I can now announce that both the San Juan and Nuvali campuses will follow a trimester schedule for school year 2020-2021. The first trimester starting July 22 and lasting until early October will be delivered via online distance learning, i.e., there will be no physical return to school until October 5 at the earliest, and even this will be subject to review closer to the date.
We have had experience in the past with online distance learning. This will now be levelled up so that one trimester can be delivered using this mode of education. The faculty and staff will be returning to work on May 4 (on Work from Home status until physical return to school becomes feasible under the “new normal”). On top of the usual preparations that now have to be done online, there will also be systematic and intensive training to prepare for the first trimester and beyond. We are asking a lot from our faculty and staff, and we need to give them our full support.
The second trimester will last from October 5 to December 18, and the third from January 5 to March 19. Senior High School will continue to follow a semestral schedule (July to November, November to March).
Although the 3-6% tuition fee increase for 2020-2021 had already been approved last December, the Board of Trustees has decided to defer this to help parents cope with the present crisis. There will be no tuition fee increase, and miscellaneous fees have also been reduced. There will be no off-campus activities this school year, including the Xavier China Experience (XCE) in San Juan; there will be no big gatherings as well. The Board of Trustees has also committed to find the necessary funds to assist Xavier families experiencing financial difficulties, to supplement the grants available from the Xavier School Educational Trust Fund. Details will be announced during the enrollment period.
Close to 80% of our tuition revenue is spent on salaries and benefits of our human resources, including our agency personnel. Without a tuition fee increase, we cannot improve their compensation packages. Nevertheless, the Board of Trustees is committed to ensuring job security for all full-time employees, and towards this end, will find ways of covering any deficits that may arise if we don’t achieve our enrollment targets. Capital expenditures will also be kept to a minimum until our finances stabilize.
Online distance learning for an extended period of time is a new experience for all of us. We are doing our best to prepare, building on our many years of experience with educational technology, especially the use of gadgets from Grades 5 to 12. We realize that online distance learning presents many challenges in grade school, and that successful delivery will require the active engagement of parents. We are counting on you to work closely with us so that learning doesn’t stop due to the pandemic. Rest assured that we will always aim for Jesuit holistic education that guarantees academic competence while providing cura personalis (personal care) to each learner.
For Kinder to Grade 4 parents (in XSN, parents of transferee students as well), an online orientation session will be organized to give you a better idea of what to expect this school year, since online distance learning is a bigger challenge in early education. In the meantime, parents and students of all grade levels may email the respective Principal’s Offices at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org, and email@example.com, so that your inquiries can be processed and included in the Primer on Online Distance Learning document that we are preparing.
Online enrollment will start in mid-May. A separate memo will be issued by the Registrar’s Office with more detailed instructions. Each unit will also announce instructions related to student accountabilities and release of report cards.
Due to the ban on mass gatherings that is expected to last for several months, closing ceremonies/ graduations for the 2020 classes are now cancelled. I hope and pray that the outgoing Grade 6 and Grade 12 students and their families understand that health and safety must come first.
It will be an extraordinary school year for all of us, with many ad hoc arrangements that will require a lot of patience, generosity, and creativity in the spirit of magis. We all need to approach the new school year with openness and flexibility. If we all do our part and support each other, we can facilitate continuous learning for our beloved students during this worldwide pandemic. Luceat Lux!
Fr. Aristotle C. Dy, SJ, Ph.D