14 Days to School Opening
With exactly a 14 day period between now and the opening of schools it is very important that we abide by the health regulations during that period to ensure the safety of our students and staff.
The Department of Education has issued the recommendation that all students and staff wear masks in post primary schools. When not in use the masks will need to be kept in a sealed plastic bag. I am aware that this is going to be difficult and we will make every effort to arrange times when they can go outside and “take a breather” during the day.
We are organising the provision of food and we hope to be able to provide this service free of charge and in a safe manner. The Breakfast Club will not be happening so it is important that students eat a breakfast at home. We are planning on providing mid morning break and lunch on all five days (inc Friday).
Without sounding unfriendly we do not encourage visitors. Whether it is forgotten items or medical appointments we encourage you to make arrangements beforehand. Forms which need to be signed should be left in the letterbox and when completed will be posted out.
Try to make all communication on-line or over the phone. Payments through Way2Pay, enrolments for 21/22 and now 22/23 are online. |If you email queries we will make every effort to reply speedily.
The classrooms will be different and both ourselves and the students will be getting used to a new normal. Together we can make this work as it is not just for today but may be the way for months to come. We have books organised but both books and copies in the classroom will present hygiene challenges. In this regard I have been asking parents to see if they can provide laptop/Chromebooks as we move to a more technology enhanced environment. Already I have to thank so many parents who have supported this and we do have some stock within the school to assist those who can’t. Our research tells us that about three quarters of the student population have a laptop or Chromebooks. I will gladly help with any questions which you may have.
Toilet facilities will have to limit the number od students at a time and we have 15 rooms with sinks with warm water for handwashing. Hand sanitisation is available in all classrooms and throughout the school and a full one way system will operate throughout. (no problem with the 10000 steps!)
We are allowing lockers but only at limited times and a social distance applies.
After school activities (study, sports, etc) are not happening in the short term and both students and staff are encouraged to leave the building early at the end of each day.
Additional cleaning is being organised and toilets, doorhandles and social areas are prioritised.
An isolation area has been designated, well ventilated and adjacent to a doorway. If a student is in any way sick they should not come to school and if the become ill in school they will need to be collected immediately.
Electronic roll books will be marked at the beginning of each lesson to assist with contract tracing should an outbreak occur.
At the moment changing rooms will not be used but it is important that physical activity should not be curtailed. We will be encouraging students to take exercise during PE classes and outside if at all possible (another 10,000 steps!). We have an outdoor gym and with proper sanitisation this could prove useful.
Practical subjects (Home Ec, Art, Wood, Metal, Music, Science, etc) present challenges. In some subjects it is possible to provide individual equipment and others may be limited to demonstration in the short term.
Medical advice tells us that school uniforms are less likely to hold infection than paper and books and we will be continuing with the uniform.
We have opted not to install screens around teachers desks as there are questions about the insurance implications. Any screens which are installed in the school are made of toughened glass which sanitises best and these are being installed in the coming week in some public areas.
There a dozen electronic information boards around the school to inform of events and remind about hygiene.
We are monitoring and complying with health and education advice on a daily basis and are fully committed to minimising risk. We need the help of every family to do their best to keep us all safe. Remember we are the front line. Advice changes from day to day so it is important to keep an eye on the website.
I am aware that there are students with immune system difficulties and and others with apprehension and anxiety and we will try to support them also.
Let’s try to make this work, together.
Opening dates for different groups are on the website. Please feel free to email us with any questions.