As you probably heard, the Department of Education sent out guidelines tonight (30th Nov 2021) about pupils from 3rd to 6th Classes wearing face masks in school.
Last weekend, NPHET has recommended the wearing of face masks/coverings by children aged nine years and above on public transport, in retail and other indoor public settings as already required for children aged 13 years and over. They have also recommended that this is introduced for children in 3rd class and above in primary schools. They have advised that this measure is being introduced on a temporary basis and is subject to review in mid-February 2022.
From Wednesday 1st December 2021, pupils in 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th Class in Scoil na Croise Naofa MUST wear a face mask while in school, unless exempt. Please see the information on exemptions, and if you feel your child is exempt, please ring the school immediately first thing in the morning on 021-4357852. A medical certificate MUST be provided in the case of exemptions.
Please make sure your child has a face mask that fits with them in school from Wednesday 1st December and please note the following:
Face masks & symptoms:
- Wearing a face covering or mask does not mean that pupils can come to school with symptoms. Any child with symptoms should stay at home and contact their GP / get a PCR test. The school will continue to send home pupils with symptoms if they develop in school.
Types of face masks
- Pupils may wear single use masks, or reusable cloth masks.
- Face masks should fit (children’s size) the child correctly.
- Face masks/coverings must not contain any slogans/logos/images that may cause upset or be deemed offensive to any member of the school community.
- Face masks/coverings should be stored in a cloth, paper or plastic bag or a container (when not being worn).
- Reusable face coverings should be washed after every day of use and/or before being used again, or if visibly soiled
- If you cannot arrange for your child to have a face mask with them (that fits) by tomorrow morning, the school has a limited supply (and we will order more) and we will be able to provide masks, if you cannot arrange one in time for the morning.
- Pupils from 3rd to 6th Class will be required to wear face masks at all times while inside the school building, except for the following:
- Pupils can remove their facemasks while eating their lunch.
- Pupils will not have to wear their face mask while outdoors – for yard or fresh air breaks. Teachers will make sure that the classes have plenty of fresh air breaks, so pupils can remove masks.
A medical certificate to certify that a person falls into a category listed below must be provided to the school on behalf of, any person (pupil) who claims that they are covered by the exemptions below:
- any pupil with difficulty breathing or other relevant medical conditions
- any pupil who is unable to remove the cloth face-covering or visor without assistance
- any pupil who has special needs and who may feel upset or very uncomfortable wearing the cloth face covering or visor, for example pupils with intellectual or developmental disabilities, mental health conditions, sensory concerns or tactile sensitivity.
If you feel that your child falls into any of the categories above, please contact the school first thing in the morning on 021-4357852 to discuss the reason for the possible exemption, and provide the school with the medical certificate to allow this exemption.
Why wear Face masks/coverings?
Face masks/coverings act as a barrier to help prevent respiratory droplets from travelling into the air and onto other people when the person wearing the face mask/covering coughs, sneezes, talks or raises their voice. Face masks/coverings are therefore intended to prevent transmission of the virus from the wearer (who may not know that they are infected) to those with whom they come into close contact.
Face masks/coverings are more effective than visors. In the limited circumstances where a face mask/covering cannot be worn (see the list of exemptions above) clear visors must be considered. If you feel that your child needs to wear a visor rather than a face mask please ensure that you contact the school in the morning to discuss full the reasons why this is the case.
We really appreciate all of your cooperation with this new guidance. We are all doing our very best in challenging circumstances and appreciate that we are all working together to keep our entire school community as safe as possible, so that we can all enjoy a safe and healthy Christmas and New Year in 2022.
If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact me on 021-4357852 to discuss.