Message from Principal: 12th August 2020

/, School News/Message from Principal: 12th August 2020

Dear Parents and Guardians,

I hope you and your families are keeping well.

As you are aware, our school has now been closed since 12th March due to the COVID-19 situation.  We are now hoping to re-open our school safely, in line with current guidance and recommendations.

Re-opening the school safely will require the co-operation of all members of our School Community – BoM, School Leadership, Staff, Parents and Pupils. We will all be called on to play our part in ensuring that re-opening of the school is done in a safe manner which prevents the spread of the virus and allows the vital work of Teaching and Learning to proceed with as little disruption as possible.

We are currently working on upgrading our procedures and routines within the school to ensure that there is as much Physical Distancing as is possible in our building. We will apply physical distancing in a practical and sensible way, recognising that the learning environment cannot be dominated by a potentially counterproductive focus on this issue.

In the most recent literature a class is being called a bubble and groups within that class are being called pods.

Physical Distancing will be achieved in two ways: –

Increasing Separation.  This will be achieved by re-configuring the classrooms to maximise physical distancing. Each class will be referred to as a bubble and we will ensure that there is as little contact as possible between children in different bubbles.  Within the bubbles, children will be organised into pods.  A pod is a group of children who will sit together and who will stay in their pod while in the bubble, or classroom.

Decreasing Interaction. This will be achieved by decreasing the potential for children from different bubbles to interact.  There will be marked routes for various bubbles to enter and exit the school and to access their classrooms.  Bubbles will have different mid-morning and lunch-time access to the playground.  We will make these routines enjoyable activities for the children, emphasising safety at all times.

While all children will be welcome back to school, we would remind parents that, where children are displaying colds, coughs or flu like symptoms, they should not be sent to school.  Children who display such symptoms in school will be isolated and parents asked to collect them from the school.

Children who have travelled from countries not on the Green List should not attend school during the 14-day self-isolation period . So, therefore, if you and your family are returning from abroad after tomorrow and need to quarantine, your child should not attend school until the 14 days are up.

Further information on COVID-19 symptoms in children is available at: –

https://www2.hse.ie/conditions/coronavirus/if-your-child-has-symptoms.html

Teachers will make children aware of the proper hygiene procedures regarding hand washing and etiquette related to sneezing, coughing or spitting.  We would be grateful if you could also emphasise safe behaviour in this regard to your children at home as part of the preparation for returning to school.

The school will get a thorough ‘Deep Clean’ before we open. We have purchased PPE for all staff to wear during the school day. Sanitiser will be ready available in all areas of the school. We have purchased a sanitising fog machine which we will use at the end of each week to fully sanitise each room. Desks, door handles, toilets and touch points will be cleaned and wiped regularly.  Staff will have completed a Covid awareness training course before returning to school.

Regarding teaching and learning in September, the motto “slow down to catch up” is appropriate. It is important that we give the children time to adjust back to school life again. We don’t want them feeling overwhelmed and stressed during their first few weeks back. By creating a calm and controlled atmosphere, they will be in a better frame of mind for learning.

You may or may not be listening to the radio over the coming days and weeks. You may hear stories of what’s being done in some schools and what’s not being done in other schools. I can assure you that our Covid-19 Planning Team have been considering all options when making plans to suit our school, while adhering to government guidelines. What works in one school may not work in another school. There are many companies promoting items relating to keeping your children safe in these Covid-19 times. If we need you to purchase any specific item we will let you know.

Our aim remains to re-open the school in an orderly safe manner, while reassuring the children and making them feel comfortable, safe and relaxed with their friends in the new school environment.  This will be achieved by all of us working towards this common goal.

We are really looking forward to welcoming our children back to school and will be doing all that we can to ensure that the return to school is a safe and enjoyable experience for the children. We will keep you updated with further safety measures once we have them secured. We will be in touch with you again before school re-opens.

 

Kind regards,

Tríona Fitzgerald,

Principal.

 

2020-08-12T13:22:55+00:00 August 12th, 2020|