The 2021 school year will begin on March 1 according to this morning’s announcement by the Education Ministry along with three municipal associations, the director of public education and representatives from subsidized private schools.
The memo sent to schools provides guidelines to help establishments design their plans to return to in-person classes in keeping with the protocols established in conjunction with the Health Ministry. Plans must be submitted by Friday, January 8, 2021 via a link that will be available on the Sigamos Aprendiendo (Let’s Keep Learning) site as of December 1.
Establishments requiring assistance to create their plan may request personalized advisory services from the Education Ministry through the Let’s Keep Learning website.
“The Ministry has focused its efforts on mitigating, as much as possible, the negative impact of the prolonged suspension of in-person classes. It has provided support and educational resources to the communities to aid distance learning. However, despite those efforts, this year has shown us more clearly that in-person classes are irreplaceable. We know next year will also be challenging and will put the leadership and efforts of our school communities to the test again. However, we must plan in advance so we can welcome our students on March 1,” explained Education Minister Raúl Figueroa.
While in-person classes will be the rule in 2021, the operating plan must be versatile enough to be prepared in the event of a change in the public health situation, which will depend on the measures adopted by health authorities.
For the 2021 school year, the Education Ministry recommends that the school system organize the school year into trimesters and plan in shorter periods, which can be more easily adjusted and enable monitoring of curricular progress in three complete cycles.
The Education Quality Agency will make a diagnostic assessment available to all educational establishments, allowing them to plan for curricular flexibility as pertinent. The diagnostic assessment must be completed by March 15 and may be complemented with the establishment’s own assessments.
The President of the Chilean Association of Municipalities, Mayor of Colina Mario Olavarría, expressed appreciation for the invitation to participate in the early design of the 2021 school year, which was issued to all the institutions and players involved in the process.
“We have to prepare to go back to in-person classes with all the necessary safeguards (...) and in coordination with the Health Ministry. That is our job and parents are expecting their children to go back to normal classes. We are calm because we know we are doing things right and far enough ahead of time. We know that we could have some problems that are beyond our control and if they are within our control, we need to prepare for what is coming,” said Mayor Olavarría.