Letter (9) 20042021


                                  Issue: 09                                                         April 20th 2021

Dear Parents,

Covid-19:

Over the past few days we have been notified by the HSE that a number of our pupils have tested positive for Covid 19. We are liaising with the HSE and are following their instructions. In summary the current picture in the school is as follows:

  • Mrs Monson’s 6th class have all been deemed close contacts of a confirmed case. Remote teaching is happening for this class. They are due back to school on Tuesday April 27th (assuming they have no symptoms and they have not heard otherwise from the HSE)
  • Miss Tyrrell’s Junior Infant class have all been deemed close contacts of a confirmed case. Remote teaching is happening for this class. They are due back to school on Thursday April 29th (assuming they have no symptoms and they have not heard otherwise from the HSE)
  • There are other children throughout the school who have been deemed close contacts of positive Covid cases from other settings. These children have been instructed to self-isolate and are not at school. Teachers will upload some work to Seesaw for children in this situation.
  • Some children who were deemed close contacts of positive Covid cases from other settings have since tested positive for Covid 19. To date all the cases that we have been made aware of were asymptomatic when they were tested. In this case the HSE go back 24 hours to determine who the close contacts of that person were. As the children were tested on Sunday and had no symptoms, the HSE consider the people they interacted with on Saturday to be their close contacts. HSE helpline: 1850 241850 for any queries you may have.
  • The official Department guidelines confirm that siblings of close contacts identified through the school setting can still attend school. If there are particular concerns following the case and school Public Health Risk Assessment is being undertaken, the public health doctor may sometimes request siblings also to restrict their movements, but this will be a specific clinical recommendation. It is not routine and siblings of schools close contacts should not be excluded by schools.
  • Under no circumstances should any child be sent to school if any member of the household is unwell and may have Covid 19 and is therefore going for a test. In this case everybody in the house is to stay home and restrict their movements until the test results come back, which normally takes 2 days. If the test result is negative and luckily it normally is, then everybody goes back to work and school as normal but if it is positive the whole home restricts their movements with the infectious person being instructed to isolate. The HSE will communicate what exactly is to be done and for how long it is to be done for, in all positive cases.
  • The official Department guideline in this scenario states that “a child is not to be sent to school if he/she has been living with someone who is unwell and may have Covid-19”.
  • Please, please, please understand this to also mean that if you or anybody in the home is having a COVID test then your child / children should not attend school until you receive the test results and clearly negative ones at that.
  • If anyone in your household is feeling unwell, please get tested and remember, while doing so & waiting for the results, keep your child at home.
  • It’s the community that keeps schools open in these pandemic times and we want SCN to remain open. Please let’s all play our part.
  • REMEMBER: we are still in level 5 restrictions

I realise these times are not easy on anybody. We are constantly learning all of the time as the situation is always evolving. All we can do is to continue to do our best. We will keep you informed of all developments as we are made aware of them.

Returning to School after an absence:

Aladdin will ask you to tick a “Return to school” declaration if your child has been absent from school for any reason. (This also applies after a school closure like the recent Easter break). It is available to fill out from the homepage via the “Attendance Notes” section. Please complete it any-time after 3pm on the day before your child returns to the classroom or before they arrive at school on the day they are returning.

Safe Route:

Over the Easter break our caretaker Jack painted white arrows on the ground showing the safe route into the school between the two prefabs at the front of the school. Please make sure to use this safe route. It is not safe to walk through the space where the barrier is located. Now that the arrows are on the ground, there is no need for me to be at the front wall in the mornings directing pedestrians.

Access to the School Building:

  • All external doors will be closed at 8:50am. Any pupils arriving after this, should go to the main front door and report to the office.
  • No adult, other than staff members should enter the building
  • If an adult has to collect a child during the course of the school day, please be reminded that the following arrangement applies:
    • When adult arrives at the school, they should phone the office (091) 844510 at the front door of the school (red circle) to alert the office they have arrived
    • The child will be brought from their class to the adult by a member of staff
    • No adult should enter the school building, unless invited to do so

HSE Vaccination & Screening programmes:

  • MMR and 4-1 vaccination programme was offered to children in Junior Infants over the Easter holidays. Parents were contacted directly by the HSE and vaccinations took place in Renmore.
  • School Health Screening programme took place yesterday for children in Senior Infants. The Public Health nurse screened their Hearing & Vision here in the school.

Standardised Tests:

Standardised Tests will be administered to children from 1st class up to 6th class during the last week of May i.e. May 24th to 28th.

Community Games Handwriting & Art competitions:

This year the Community Games Handwriting and Art competitions will be run online through www.mycommunitygames.com. Entries will be sent home with the students and must then be entered online by their parents. Students must be underage on 1st August 2021.

Categories:

  • Handwriting: U10 & U12 (specific text)
  • Art: U8 / U10 / U12 / U14 (Theme: A Community Games activity)

Closing date for entries: Wednesday May 5th

Cycling Workshop:

Cycling workshop for the 6th class girls will commence on Monday May 10th (this is the first day back to school after the mid-term break). The workshops mainly take place outdoors. In light of the current Public health situation and from an “Infection Control” perspective, the girls are encouraged to use their own bicycles and helmets, where possible.

Green School:

  • Well done to Mr McDonald’s Senior Infant class who had the highest rate of participation for our March WOW day!
  • Congratulations to the pupils in Miss Tyrrell’s Junior Infants and Mrs Duffy’s 4th class who had the highest rate of participation in last week’s WOW day!!!
  • Cash4Clobber collection took place yesterday Monday (April 19th).
  • Next edition of the Green School Newsletter will issue in the next week or so with some exciting news about a “walk to school every day for the month of May” challenge!
  • The Green School committee have recently completed an “Expression of Interest” survey for Green Schools Ireland in relation to “Safer route to school” programme. The purpose of this programme is to identify issues on the approach to the school in the hope that the local authority would fix these issues making it safer for more children to walk / cycle / scoot to school.
  • The Green School committee are awaiting a “virtual” visit from the local Green School travel officer who will assess their work on the Travel Theme and all the themes of the Green School’s programme. They will also be submitting a lengthy online application outlining all the Green School work that is done here in SCN. We expect to hear before the end of the school year, if SCN has been awarded with our 9th Green Flag!!!

Poly-tunnel:

  • Mr Kelly’s class have use of our poly-tunnel for the rest of the year. Vegetables have been planted and all classes will get to see the vegetables grown and be harvested.
  • Mr Hanley’s class are going to grow 5 different types of seeds over the next few weeks (Innocent Grow it Yourself kit)
  • Miss O’Byrne’s class are taking part in the Incredible Edibles programme and are also growing some fruit and vegetables.

School Tours:

There will be no school tours this year. Instead other nice things like walking tours of the town, outdoor disco, teddy bear picnics, XFactor on iMovie etc. will be planned during the month of June.

School Year 2021 / 2022:

  • The admissions process for September 2021 / 2022 is now closed
  • Calendar for 2021 / 2022 attached
  • Parents are asked to voice any points they have in relation to class splits / organisation in respect of their child(ren) for the 2021/2022 school year before Friday April 30th. Please do so by email to the school only. While points raised will be given consideration e.g. your child’s friends etc., no promises can ever be given in relation to requests made.
  • Parents should note that every child in SCN will probably have to be placed in a split class setting at least once in their primary school cycle. This is true of most primary schools in the West of Ireland.
  • Teachers have not been assigned to their new classes for next year yet.
  • Parents are advised that at levels where there are 2 and 3 classes e.g. Junior Infants, Senior Infants, 1st class etc., the makeup of the class never stays the same from year to year. With this in mind parents are also advised to voice any points they have e.g. possible friendships their child might have etc. While this information will be useful to have and a reasonable effort will be made to accommodate certain requests, we wish to remind you that no guarantees can be given regarding placement of pupils.

Sensory Garden / Outdoor classroom:

Over the summer holidays it is our intention to build a sensory garden and outdoor classroom at the back of the school. It is important that we get this right for our pupils most especially, and also to ensure we get value for money, by planning in advance. With this in mind, I would invite any parents / guardians / grandparents who have knowledge / skills / interest in a project like this to please contact the school before the end of April to offer your ideas, expertise and/or services. We are very excited about the project and look forward to hearing from you. Proposals will be discussed with the Board of Management before any action is taken.

Diary dates:

  • Monday May 3rd until Friday May 7th: May mid-term break. School will close at 2.30pm on Friday April 30th and re-opens on Monday May 10th at 8.40am
  • Monday May 10th: first cycling workshop for 6th class
  • Wednesday May 12th: WOW day (Walk to school On Wednesday)
  • Monday May 17th: second cycling workshop for 6th class
  • Monday May 24th: third cycling workshop for 6th class
  • Thursday May 27th: County Photos will be at the school to take the children’s photos

IMPORTANT REMINDER:

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 (or lives) 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

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

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.

  • 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.

Is mise le meas

Fergal Naughton

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