Letter (7) 04032021

Dear Parents                                                    Issue: 07                                                         March 4th 2021

We are all delighted that we could welcome all our junior pupils back to school this week. Sincere thanks to our wonderful SNAs; Mrs Devally, Mrs Hallissey and Mrs Trehy for decorating all the entrance doors with colourful bunting and balloons. Getting back to school was a great cause for celebration!

The staff and I wish to thank you so very much for all your diligent engagement with the remote learning over the last 2 months. We learnt a lot of lessons from the first lockdown and were able to adapt and improve our approaches in different areas. I must commend all the teachers on the wonderful planning and effort that went into all their lessons. They have done all they could to ensure that education and learning continued as seamlessly as possible during this period of remote learning.

Obviously there is no substitute for in-class learning and therefore we look forward to welcoming back the senior pupils on Monday March 15th, assuming Public Health advice allows.

Returning to School Declarations:

  • The “Return to Educational Facility Parental Declaration Form” has been emailed to all parents. This is a once-off form which needs to be completed following the long school closure. This form needs to be completed in respect of each pupil returning to school after the lockdown. They should give it to their teacher on their first day back at school. (The form can also be emailed back to the school on their first day back, if this is more convenient for parents).
  • Aladdin will also ask you to tick a “Return to school” declaration if your child has been absent from school for any reason. It is available to fill out from the homepage via the “Attendance Notes” section. Please complete it anytime after 3pm on the day before your child returns to the classroom or before they arrive at school on the day they are returning.
  • Both of these measures go a small way towards giving peace of mind to parents and staff alike that we are all taking the public health measures very seriously, especially during this current wave of the pandemic

Not Returning to School:

In line with the NPHET recommendations, the Department of Education have instructed all primary schools to re-open and to welcome back children in Junior Infants, Senior Infants, 1st class and 2nd class.

  • Normal attendance records will be kept for these classes from March 1st.
  • If your child’s class has returned to school and you choose to keep them at home, but they are not medically certified as being “at very high risk” then your child will be marked absent for each day they are not at school.
  • There is no remote teaching provision available for children who are kept home in these circumstances.

Symptoms of Covid-19:

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
  • Travelled outside the country within the last 14 days

Letter from Dr Ronan Glynn:

Earlier this week you were sent a copy of a letter from the Deputy Chief Medical Officer, Dr Ronan Glynn. The main points he made were:

  • The re-opening of schools is not to be taken as a signal by parents and wider society that other forms of household mixing and mobility are now acceptable
  • Please avoid congregating at school gates over the coming weeks
  • Please do not have play dates or organise after school activities which involve household mixing
  • If we can continue to supress the disease through March and April, while the vaccine rollout is continuing, we will have many more options in terms of easing of measures and should be able to provide much greater levels of certainty to people about the months ahead.

Infection Control Measures:

  • In Scoil Crhoí Naofa we will be rigorously adhering to the existing measures that we had in place for term 1, as this practice is still considered highly effective for risk mitigation against the transmission of Covid-19. The main points are as follows:
    • Each class is their own “bubble”
    • Each class has their own entry & exit point to the school (or their class)
    • Hand sanitisers at every entrance & in each classroom
    • Break times are staggered and each class has their own zone in the yard
    • Visitors to the school must wear a face covering
  • The Department has published guidance setting out the practical steps for good ventilation in accordance with Public Health advice “Practical Steps for the Deployment of Good Ventilation Practices in Schools”. The guidance sets out an overall approach for schools that windows should be open as fully as possible when classrooms are not in use (e.g. during break-times or lunch times (assuming not in use) and also at the end of each school day) and partially open when classrooms are in use. The guidance provides that good ventilation can be achieved in classrooms without causing discomfort, particularly during cold weather.
  • The children are being reminded about Good Respiratory Hygiene, Good Hand Hygiene and Social Distancing

Extra Layers, Raincoats & suitable footwear:

  • Given that windows and doors will be open in the school to encourage good ventilation of the building, and given that temperatures this time of year can fluctuate, the children are encouraged to wear extra layers under their uniform, or to bring an extra layer in the form of a hoodie, fleece or body warmer, to ensure that they do not get cold. (Please be assured that the heat is on in the school all day also).
  • Please ensure your child brings their raincoat to school and wears suitable footwear every day. The children will be going outside for break every day so they will need to be suitably dressed for the weather.

Green School:

  • The first “WOW day” i.e. “Walk to school on Wednesday” of 2021 took place on Wednesday (Mar 3rd). All the pupils from Junior Infants up to 2nd class were encouraged to walk, cycle or scoot to school – and to look for signs of spring along the way!
  • The Green School committee will be surveying each class (remotely via email!!) and compiling the results to establish which class was the BEST at walking / cycling to school.

Seachtain na Gaeilge:

We are celebrating Seachtain na Gaeilge this week & next week.All the children and staff will make an extra effort to speak in Irish. 

World Book day:

  • Friday March 5th is a non-uniform day. Your child may come to school dressed as a character from a book or they may come to school in their normal clothes. It is their choice, we certainly don’t want to put expense on parents having to buy a costume.
  • Our only request is that props such as wands, swords etc. are left at home. These items are always very popular to share and due to current restrictions, it is better your child just wears their costume / face paint (without any props) coming in to the classroom.                                  

Diary dates:

  • Friday March 12th there will be no remote teaching for 3rd, 4th, 5th & 6th classes on this day. The families in question will instead be asked to bring their baskets of books back to the school (between 9am and 3pm on that day) to ensure that they can “quarantine” over the weekend and be ready to use on Monday.
  • Monday March 15th we hope to be welcoming back our senior girls in 3rd, 4th, 5th & 6th classes, assuming the Public Health advice gives us the go-ahead.
  • Wednesday March 17th is St. Patricks day and the school will be closed
  • Friday March 26th – school will finish at 11.45am for the Easter holidays. School re-opens on Monday April 12th at 8.40am.

Is mise le meas

Fergal Naughton

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