Dear parents and guardians,
From my recent email you will be aware that we have been given official confirmation by the Department of Education to reopen our school for Junior, Senior, 1st and 2nd Classes from Monday, 1st March 2021.
We are thrilled that the children in these classes will be able to come back to school after such a long period of time at home and I’m sure both the children and yourselves are looking forward to getting some normality back into your lives too.
To prepare for our return on Monday, I would appreciate it if everyone could once again read over and familiarise yourselves with our Covid-19 Response Plan attached below. Whilst it is extremely important that all procedures are followed for the safety children, parents and the staff and to keep classes and the school open without any avoidable outbreaks I would ask you to make a particular effort with:
- Keeping children at home if they present with any Covid symptoms at all.
- Speak to your children about hand hygiene and coughing and sneezing etiquette.
- Under no circumstances should parents or children congregate on school grounds before or after school.
- Any child returning from abroad must follow public health advice and should not return to school until such time that the advised quarantine period has been adhered to.
- Children should wear warm clothes and wear extra layers as we must follow room ventilation procedures which means windows and doors will be open at times throughout the day.
- Arrive and depart school as per our Response Plan attached. We will be continuing with staggered start times as we did in September and this will continue to be done in alphabetical order of family surname.
- Continue to limit contacts outside of school in order to minimise the risk of infection coming into the school and increasing the likelihood of transmission.
- The school office will continue to be unavailable unless an appointment has been made by email or telephone. Without a previously arranged appointment you will not be able to gain access to the building. All visitors authorised access MUST wear a face covering for the entire duration of their stay in the building.
- Communications with teachers will be restricted to telephone calls unless authorised by the school principal in extenuating circumstances.
- Santisier will once again be available throughout the building for children and staff and we would encourage everyone to use it regularly.
- Children will continue to work in pods assigned by the teacher.
- As before, if parents want their child to wear a face covering in school, that is fine by us.
Return to School Declaration Form from the HSE
The Department of Education has requested that Parents/Guardians to complete a Return to School Declaration form. The form can be completed via Aladdin Connect and will only be available on Sunday 28th of February, after 3pm. Full instructions and a list of frequently asked questions is available at https://www.aladdin.ie/content/faq?cat=Attendance%20-%20Parents. In order to manage the risk of transmission, parents around the country are being asked to complete this undertaking before their children return in order to give other parents and staff additional confidence regarding reopening of schools. As mentioned above, this can be done on the Aladdin Connect App and we will send you reminders on Sunday. Unfortunately, the way the Aladdin system works we cannot release the declaration before Sunday at 3pm and this is something outside of our control.
Returning School Books from Home
Outside of the above, we will need to manage the return of school books from home and ensure this is done effectively and safely. To avoid the potential for cross contamination of books etc. we would ask that all school books and copybooks currently at home be placed in a SEALED PLASTIC BAG and given to your child to bring to school on Monday. The teachers will take the bags from the children on Monday morning and place the items in isolation for 72 hours (as advised by the Department) before they can be used again.
3rd to 6th Class Return to School
Children from 3rd to 6th Class will continue to work remotely and engage with their teacher and assignments on Google Classroom for the next few weeks until we are given official confirmation from the Department that they can return to school. We will update you on their return once we have been given further updates and procedures.
Finally, a lot of work is required to ensure we are ready for the children on Monday and the staff will be organising classrooms, work and alternative books / lessons this Friday. As a result, there will be limited engagement from the teachers from Juniors to 2nd Class online this Friday in order to have sufficient time to prepare the classrooms for Monday. We appreciate all your support and effort in assisting us with the above and explaining the elements that apply to your children. It is hugely unfortunate we have all of these procedures but it is essential to minimise risk and keep everyone as safe as possible and ultimately keep classes and the school open, which is a priority for us all.
We are looking forward to seeing you all next week and it will be great to get the children back to school!