Good afternoon Parents / Guardians,
The phased reopening of schools will continue on Monday with the full return of all students in Junior Infants, Senior Infants, First Class, Second Class and all students in Coiscéim (Coiscéim classes partially reopened last week). Classes from 3rd to 6th will continue remotely until a planned return in mid-March.
We understand parents will have mixed feelings about this return and we must trust public health when they say the return can be safe if the community continues to abide by Level 5 Restrictions. For that reason, please read the information below which outlines the additional measures we are putting in place to keep your child and our staff safe during this return to school.
All parents of children returning to schools in Ireland must now submit a Return to Education Declaration Form , which is a health declaration that the child / household has no Covid symptoms. This will be done electronically in our school. It must be completed after every school absence going forward regardless of reason. You no longer will have to write a note in the child’s journal as we have included ‘reason for absence’ on the form – schools are legally obliged to record the reason for a child’s absence. You can make the declaration through our website or the app – you may need to close the app fully and reopen for the update to take effect.
Covid Response plan:
The updated response plan is available here for viewing. It includes additional safety measure which are necessary to have in place to ensure the safety of your children and our staff. It is important that you read and are familiar with these measures (updates are highlighted) & Appendix 11 of Covid Response Plan. A reminder to all that if your child displays any symptoms of Covid or if they are a close contact, do not send them to school. Always err on the side of caution – for everyone’s sake.
Remind and practise with your child correct hand washing / hygiene techniques, talk about social distancing as appropriate to your child’s age.
Remember also, that if a child displays symptoms in school, they will be isolated immediately and you will need to collect them and arrange a Covid test. We do not take chances when dealing with children and the health of a classroom. If in doubt, keep your child home until they are better.
The main changes for parents is that staff are no longer permitted under the national guidelines to meet parents at the gates. All communication must be on the phone or through email. This will mean no conversations at the end-of-day handover with staff for any reason. This is for both your safety and the staff’s.
Ventilation is key to ensuring reduced transmission indoors, schools are told. New guidelines and updates around ventilation will be implemented so an extra hoody for students is advised – a hoody is preferable to leaving a coat on all day. The heating will of course be on, but windows must remain open.
Again, there must be strictly no congregating of parents at drop-off or collection times – keep your distance at all times from other parents. Parents should continue to wear masks in the vicinity of the school.
What should my child bring?
We are returning for the usual school day with the same times as pre-Christmas so a snack, lunch and water is needed. Your child should bring back all their books and these will remain in school (over two days if the bag is heavy). Homework will be digital during Level 5 Restrictions and books in the main will not be sent in / out of school.
Children will use the same gates and routes into / from school as before Christmas.
Remote learning for this cohort of pupils will cease from Monday. Only children from Jnrs – 2nd who have been medically certified not to return will continue remotely. While some parents may wish to continue to keep their child at home, public health deems it safe for their return to school if the family follow Level 5 Restrictions. The guidance then for schools is to mark children who are not in school as absent. Parents who keep their child at home when schools are open must make a formal application for home-school provision to Tusla. The school cannot provide ‘dual’ tuition to students at home when the class has returned (unless the child is medically deemed ‘at very high risk’). Respectfully, please do not make any requests from the schools in this regard.
Unwell Siblings / Households
A change to the protocol around children / siblings attending schools: Students must now not attend school if anyone in the household is unwell, displaying symptoms or awaiting the results of a Covid test.
We thank the teachers and SNAs on your behalf for their incredible efforts to provide learning opportunities on Seesaw and Zoom during the closure to our students and also thank you, the parents for your amazing efforts in submitting work, videos & picture updates back to us so we can monitor progress. Well done all!
Lastly, this reopening can be safe if we all play our part – keep your distance, stay at home if you are sick, practice good hygiene & wear your mask. We want this reopening to be a success so that our older pupils can return as soon as possible. We urge all families again to play their part by adhering to Level 5 Restrictions so that the reopening is not jeopardised.
We look forward to welcoming the children from Jnrs – Rang 2 back on Monday!
S. Flannery Príomhoide
A. Carney Príomhoide Táiniste