Dear Parents / Guardians,
Happy New Year. I hope you had an enjoyable, peaceful Christmas and most importantly I hope this finds you all safe and well.
We are re-opening as planned tomorrow Thursday 6th January 2022, at the usual time for all classes 8:50am (with gates opening at 8:40am).
All of the Covid-19 safety procedures that were in place in the school before Christmas will continue, with some additional new ones. The following are some important reminders:
If your child is unwell:
- Please do not send your child to school if they are in any way unwell.They will be sent home immediately.
- If your child is unwell – with a cough, sore throat, headache, fever, upset stomach, loss of taste or smell, aches or pains, or in general is unwell and not themselves – please keep them at home and ring your GP or follow the advice for testing: https://www2.hse.ie/
- Your child should stay at home while they are unwell and 2 full additional days – they need to be 48 hours symptom free.
- Example 1: If your child has a stomach bug on Tuesday – they must stay at home on Tues, and then also Wed & Thurs. They can return to school if they are symptom free on the Friday.
- Example 2: If your child is sent home from school with a headache on Monday, they must stay at home on Tues & Wednesday also and can return if fully well again on the Thursday.
- Having a negative antigen test or negative PCR test does not mean your child can come to school if they are unwell – they will be sent home still.
- In the same way, if your child recently had Covid your child cannot attend school if they are unwell. It is possible for anyone to get Covid-19 twice, especially the Omicron variant – so your child must stay at home if unwell and you must follow the advice for testing: https://www2.hse.ie/
If your child is a close contact / there is Covid at home:
- If there is Covid-19 in your household, your child cannot attend school until the isolation period is fully complete. The HSE will guide you with this and there is also advice online: https://www2.hse.ie/
- If someone in your house is being tested for Covid-19, your child should stay at home until the result is received. You should then follow HSE advice or the advice here: https://www2.hse.ie/
As with before Christmas:
- Pupils from 3rd to 6th Class will still be required to wear face masks in school while indoors.
- If pupils in other classes wish to wear face masks / coverings they are welcome to.
- The school will provide face coverings if they are forgotten etc.
HEPA Air Purification Systems:
We are delighted to say that HEPA filters have been ordered and are due to arrive and be installed in classrooms tomorrow Thursday 6th January. They will be in all classrooms as soon as they arrive and other rooms such as offices, Special Education rooms etc will have them installed by Monday.
We would like to thank all parents and members of the school community for their support of our Christmas Raffle this year. While the plan was to purchase more outdoor furniture, we quickly realised that the grant received from the Department of Education for the HEPA filters would not be enough to cover the cost & so the profits from the Xmas raffle were used to fund the HEPA filters also. Thank you so much – they will be a great help.
While the classroom windows will still be opened at various stages of the day for ventilation, and pupils will still go on fresh air breaks, the HEPA filters will means that the air will be cleaned, and windows can be closed more, making the classrooms warmer.
There will be some staff shortages in the days and weeks ahead. We will continue to do our best to ensure that we have subs and full staffing every day. This may not be possible and so our existing staff will be asked to teach classes they normally don’t etc. So there MIGHT be different teachers teaching your child, depending on our situation everyday.
Please be patient with us and with any staffing changes that will be made at short notice.
We hope that it will never happen, but if in the event that we do not have enough teachers available to teach each class, then difficult decisions will have to be made and some classes will be told not to come to school. We hope that we will avoid this situation, but please be aware that it MIGHT happen. Parents will be given as much notice as possible in that situation.
There have also been some unavoidable staffing changes for the rest of the year – parents were informed of these before Christmas. Full staff list can be seen here: https://www.
If there is Covid-19 reported in your child’s class / If your child tests positive for Covid-19
- If your child has a positive antigen test or PCR, please keep them at home and follow the HSE’s advice.
- Please contact the school to let us know.
- With your permission we will inform the rest of your child’s pod / class that a case has been reported (without naming the child).
- Parents of the Children in the pod / class will be give information on how to apply for antigen tests.
- If those children are symptom free and have negative antigen test results they can continue to come to school as normal.
- Please remember that your child will enter and exit the school through the same gates / doors that they used before Christmas.
- ADULTS should remain OUTSIDE SCHOOL gates unless absolutely necessary or for the dropping off and collecting of very young children. Please allow your child to be independent and walk in by themselves in the morning, if possible. ADULTS ON PREMISES SHOULD ALWAYS WEAR A FACE COVERING.
- Late arrivals should come to the FRONT DOOR – and not other doors as they will be closed.
- If adults do need to speak to a teacher or the secretary, or collect a child early etc. please WEAR A FACE MASK on premises, come to the FRONT DOOR, press the buzzer and BETTY or another member of staff will answer.
- PLEASE LET US KNOW IN ADVANCE IF YOU ARE COLLECTING A CHILD EARLY – even 5 minutes in advance – so that we can have them ready at the front door for you.
- Please remind your child about the importance of hand hygiene, social distancing and listening to adults who are there to help them.
Thank you in advance for all of your help and co-operation in keeping our children, staff, and school community as safe as they possibly can be, when Covid-19 numbers are so high. It is an anxious time for many, children, parents and staff alike, and we are all doing our very best in these very challenging times. Thank you for your patience, kindness and your help as we re-open after the holidays and try to get us all safely through the next few weeks and months.
As always, if you have any questions, or worries, please talk to the staff at the gates in the morning, or ring the office on 0214357852 to speak to Betty, or any member of staff. We are only too happy to try and help if we can.
Thanks again & stay safe,
Ms Ciara Bowe