Letter (2) 22092020


Dear Parents                                        Issue: 02                                                                 September 22nd 2020

Thank you all so very much for your co-operation and help over the last few weeks. We feel that the new processes are working very well and we couldn’t have done it without you. However, the challenges are of course far from over. Schools have done the hard work to reopen, but schools can only stay open if everyone; pupils, parents, staff and the wider community behave responsibly, obey the health guidelines and work with school management to keep schools as safe as possible. It takes a community to keep a school open.

We would appeal to all parents to please review the following points:

WHEN TO KEEP YOUR CHILD AT HOME AND PHONE YOUR GP:

Do NOT send your child to school if any of the following is true

Your child has:

  • A temperature of 38 degrees Celsius or more
  • Any other common symptoms of coronavirus such as a new cough, loss or changed sense of taste or smell, or shortness of breath
  • Been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for coronavirus
  • Been living with someone who is unwell and may have coronavirus

You will need to:

  • Isolate your child. This means keeping them at home and completely avoiding contact with other people as much as possible. Your child should only leave your home to have a test or to see your GP
  • Phone your GP. They will advise you if your child needs a coronavirus test
  • Everyone that your child lives with should also restrict their movements, at least until your child gets a diagnosis from their GP or a coronavirus test result. This means not going to school, childcare or work.
  • Treat your child at home for their symptoms

WHEN IT’S OKAY TO SEND YOUR CHILD TO SCHOOL:

It’s usually okay to send your child to school if they:

  • Only have nasal symptoms, such as a runny nose or a sneeze
  • Do not have a temperature of 38 degrees Celcius or more (as long as their temperature has not been lowered by taking any form of paracetamol or ibuprofen)
  • Do not have a cough
  • Have not been in close contact with anyone who has coronavirus
  • Do not live with anyone who is unwell and may have coronavirus
  • Have been told by a GP that their illness is caused by something else that is not coronavirus. Your GP will tell you when they can return to school.
  • Have got a negative (“not detected”) coronavirus test result and have not had symptoms for 48hrs

If you or a member of your household have travelled to a country that is not on the “green list”, then your child should not be sent to school for 14 days after you return home. You need to “self-isolate” in accordance with the state’s public health guidelines.

Parents are to contact their GP should their child be displaying any symptoms of Covid-19. The GP is the professional best placed to provide the most up to date advice including public health advice at this point. Under no circumstances are children displaying symptoms of Covid-19 to be sent to school.

Dealing with a suspected case of Covid-19:

If your child becomes unwell at school and presents with symptoms associated with Covid-19, we will follow the procedure that is set out in Section 9 of the “SCN Covid-19 Response Plan”. (You can view this on the school website: Parents Hub / School Re-opening 2020 / SCN Covid 19 Response Plan).

This involves:

  • Bringing your child to a designated area within the school. This area is called an “isolation area” and every school is required to have such an area identified to deal with a potential case of Covid-19
  • We will contact you and ask you to collect your child as soon as possible
  • Please note that the school is not required to inform anyone that your child has been removed due to his / her symptoms. This procedure is purely precautionary.
  • If you have other children in the school, they do not have to be removed from the school at this point.
  • You are required to contact your GP to discuss concerns and we would ask that you keep the school updated on the advice given by your GP. The next steps will depend on the advice given to you by your GP
  • If your child is referred for a test, all other members of the household that attend the school should remain at home
  • If your child is confirmed positive for Covid-19, the HSE will begin the process of contact tracing. This will most likely mean that the school will be contacted to assess the Public Health Risk.

FROM THIS POINT ONWARDS, THE PROCESS WILL BE LED BY THE PUBLIC HEALTH HSE.

  • The school cannot take any action in relation to exclusion, part closure or full closure unless the Public Health HSE determine that the action is required.
  • If any action of this nature is required, the HSE will liaise with the school to provide clear guidance to the school community.
  • If the school has not been contacted by the Public Health HSE in relation to a confirmed case in the school community, then contact with the school has not been deemed necessary.

It is a distressing time for families who are dealing with a suspected or confirmed case and all pupils and their families are entitled to confidentiality

The school cannot & will not make the name of a pupil with a suspected or confirmed case known to the public.

Unfortunately, we have no control over exchanges on social media, where information based on hearsay is shared.

We would respectfully request that parents who choose to communicate about this issue on social media should consider how these comments could be misinterpreted.

Please refrain from naming pupils and their families on these platforms.

We will continue to implement the measures set out in the school’s Covid-19 Repsonse Plan to provide a safe learning environment for our pupils and a safe and healthy workplace for all our staff.

Health & Safety:

  1. Please rest assured that all staff and visitors to the school are adhering to the daily cleaning & sanitising protocols implemented under our Covid-19 Response Plan. They form part of our standard daily practices. It is all part of our process to do all that we can to ensure that the school can remain open.
  2. Please DO NOT WALK UNDER THE BARRIER. The barrier is in constant use from 8am til 2.30pm. Parents and children should use the pedestrian entrances (i.e. the gaps in the wall).
  3. For the purpose of social distancing cars will no longer use the staff carpark. The school are using this as a yard which gives us more space to keep the children in smaller groups during break times.
  4. Parents of all children are requested to say goodbye to their children in the yard and let them enter the building / prefab by themselves.
  5. All children will sanitise their hands when they come into school
  6. Each class will be considered an independent “bubble”. This means that the class will be confined to mixing with only their own class group. This includes break times,
  7. Within each class from 3rd to 6th, the children will be further divided into pods, with a minimum distance of 1 metre being maintained between pods.
  8. The school bottom yard, top yard and front of the school have all been divided into zones and break times are also being staggered. Each class has been assigned their “zone” in the yard and their set break times.
  9. No cars are allowed onto school grounds except in exceptional circumstances agreed with principal. All cars should be parked outside the school grounds in car parks outside the school gates and at the Church.
  10. Please ensure that your child does not walk on the wall.
  11. Please note that Coláiste an Eachréidh and Gael Scoil Riada are operating out of the old Presentation Secondary school building. As a result there will be difficulty parking and a lot of additional traffic.

The Board of Management will not accept responsibility for children in the school yard before 8.30am or after 2.30pm.

General Reminders:

We seek your co-operation with the following reminders:

  • Staff request all outstanding monies for book rental and school costs be paid as soon as possible. Please do this via the Aladdin app, if at all possible. (Any issues please contact the office). 
  • Please label all children’s clothes and belongings clearly including lunchboxes, drink containers and pocket-sized bottles of hand sanitiser.
  • Please ensure your child brings their raincoat to school for days that will be wet. Outdoor activity is being encouraged by the Department of Education.
  • Check your child’s hair to ensure that any infestation of head lice is treated at once.  Long hair should be tied back.
  • Class teachers call the roll first thing in the morning, every day. If your child has an appointment in the morning, please notify the teacher the day before so that your child can be marked present.
  • Birthday invitations should not be distributed on the school premises as it causes upset to the children who are not invited.
  • Some children have a Severe Nut Allergy. For this reason, children are not allowed to have nuts at school.
  • If you Change Address, Email or Phone Numbers, please inform secretary so she can update school records.


Digital Age of Consent:

  • Children under the age of 16 (digital age of consent in Ireland) require parental consent to access social media platforms and pupils under the age of 13 should not have social media platform access at all i.e. TikTok or Snapchat etc.
  • These laws and parameters are laid down by the Government to protect juvenile users.
  • Misuse of social media platforms by primary school pupils should not be taking place, as primary school pupils should not be using these platforms in the first instance.

PE Clothes:

  • Children may wear their PE clothes to school on the day that their class is doing PE (and they will stay in their PE clothes for the day i.e. no need to change back into their uniform). See schedule below:
Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
Mr Kelly 5th & 6th Miss Feeney Junior Infants Mrs Murray Senior Infants Ms Alani Senior Infants Mr McDonald Senior Infants
Miss Tyrrell Junior Infants Miss O’Byrne 2nd Class Miss Murray 5th Class Mrs Hennessy 3rd Class Mrs Monson 6th Class
Mr Hanley 1st Class Mrs McSpadden 1st & 2nd Miss Dolan 1st Class Mrs Greally 4th Class Miss Waldron 4th Class

Technology:

  • Yesterday we were able to hold our first “assembly” via Zoom! I lead the assembly using my phone and was able to show different things around the school to all the children. Each class could see one another on the class whiteboard. It was certainly very different to how things usually work, but it’s good to know we can still see one another, from our respective “bubbles”!
  • Thank you for giving your consent for your child to use Seesaw. From today some teachers may upload school work onto the Seesaw app / website. You can download the app to your smartphone.
  • The class teacher will send you a code for your child to access their class on Seesaw at home very soon.
  • Teachers have been using class time to explain how the platform works to the children, so we trust this will help both you and your child get established with Seesaw.
  • When requested you will be able to upload your child’s work using Seesaw. It will be securely saved on the platform and will be easily accessible by the class teacher so they can correct pupils’ work.
  • New Clever-touch flat screens have been installed in the Special Education Teacher’s classrooms. This technology will be an excellent resource for the Special Education teachers.

Aladdin:

  • Please make sure that you have downloaded the Aladdin app and have notifications switched on, as teachers may be using it to correspond with you during the school year.
  • If your child has been absent from school please record the reason for the absence on the Aladdin app (you will need to wait until teacher has marked your child absent first, before you will be given the option to record the reason).
  • If at all possible, please pay monies due for Book Rental and School Costs via the Aladdin app.


First Confession & First Communion:

  • Congratulations to the girls in Mrs Hennessy’s 3rd class who made their First Confession yesterday
  • The girls are scheduled to make their First Communion on Saturday Oct 10th at 11am in the church.

HSE Vaccination & Screening programmes:

  • HSE Consent Forms have been given to all the Junior Infantsin respect of MMR and 4-1 vaccination programme. Parents should complete these forms and return them to the school before Friday.
  • HSE Consent Forms have also been given to all the Junior Infants and all pupils who are new to our school this year in respect of the School Health Screening programme. Please complete these forms and return them to the school before Friday.

Weaving Wellbeing:

  • “Weaving Well-being” is the first Irish designed positive mental health programme of its kind which aims to enhance well-being in children aged from 8-12 years within the framework of the SPHE curriculum.
  • The staff will be implementing this programme from 2nd class up to 6th class
  • This programme consists of 10 lessons for each class level and is grounded in evidence-based interventions from the rapidly expanding field of Positive Psychology.
  • It is underpinned by the concept that a state of well-being is not simply the absence of the negative, but the presence of the positive.
  • The Weaving well-being programme gives children the opportunity to weave positivity into their daily lives through a range of activities in a variety of areas e.g. resilience skills (including mindfulness) and developing self-efficacy through empowering beliefs.
  • Teachers are researching an age-appropriate programme to implement on the junior side of the school also. Details of this will follow in due course.

Parents Council Information:

  • Due to the Covid-19 restrictions the formation of a Parents Council for 2020 / 2021 is on hold for now.
  • The outgoing Parents Council signed our school up with www.designacard.ie this year. Each child will be given the opportunity to design their own Christmas Card. A sample of their designs will be sent home in November, giving you the option to purchase a pack of Christmas cards designed by your child. A portion of the sales price will come back to the school and be used by the Parents’ Council to fund different things for the children.

Community Links:

  • Photography Competition: Athenry and Clarinbridge Tidy Towns would like the children to take pictures for a calendar about the Clarin River and the areas it flows through! Entering is easy. Take a picture of your local environment and upload it to: www.ClarinPhoto.com. Pictures should be a scene from your local town, village or parish. Closing date is Friday September 25th.

Yours sincerely

Fergal Naughton

Principal

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