Letter from the Principal 6th January 2022
Return to School January 6th 2022
We hope you all had a nice break although many families were impacted by this latest wave of Covid 19. We wish you all a happy New Year and hope that 2022 will eventually bring a return to more normal times.
While we are very glad for the school to be open again after the break, we do expect Covid 19 to have an impact on staffing and on class numbers.
Having teachers for all mainstream classes and ensuring face to face teaching and learning will be our top priority here in Cornamaddy.
Our focus over the coming days and weeks will be to remind children of the importance of mitigating measures: hand sanitising, coughing etiquette, social distancing, using face masks from 3rd to 6th, and ventilation.
We have HEPA filters installed in the smaller classrooms and the recent government grant will allow us to install more filters in the near future.
We are very conscious of the present cold weather, so we ask parents to clothe children suitably, using extra layers to keep them warm. We are very grateful for your co-operation in supporting these measures.
My own personal message to the children as I visit the classes is that these measures are very important in keeping each other safe whilst also supporting hospital workers in caring for those most in need of medical care.
The HSE have asked us to remind parents that children should not attend school if they have any symptoms of Covid-19 infection.
We ask parents to take a precautionary approach, particularly for children less able to describe their symptoms, that if a child appears unwell, observe them at home and contact their GP as appropriate.
If you have been told by the HSE services that you or your child are a close contact of a case of Covid-19, you need to adhere to the advice on the HSE website in relation to restricted movements and testing.
Children under 13 years who are household close contacts must restrict their movements for 14 days and they are offered PCR testing at day 0 and day 10. On receipt of a day 10 not-detected PCR test result, they may exit restricted movements.
It is important that anyone who has been identified as a close contact, is very aware of COVID-19 symptoms, and isolate and undergo testing should they develop any symptoms.
If the school is notified that a child who has been in school during the infectious period has a positive (detected) COVID-19 PCR test result, we will text the other parents in the pod to let them know how they can access free antigen tests for their children in the identified pod. If there is more than one PCR positive case in a class, then antigen tests can be arranged for the entire class.
All children in the pod/class can continue to attend school as long as they remain asymptomatic, and they do not have a positive COVID-19 antigen or PCR test result.
Children who have symptoms of COVID-19 should stay at home, isolate, and arrange to have a PCR test, either online or through a GP.
Over the coming weeks as parents follow these important guidelines, many children will inevitably be absent from school. This will cause concern to parents in terms of missed class time. Be assured that teachers will assess children informally on an ongoing basis and prioritise additional teaching time where necessary. Hopefully the disruption caused by this current wave of infection will recede gradually in the coming weeks.
We are grateful to you all for your continued vigilance and for your openness with the school when your children or members of the family have been ill. We ask you to continue to let us know the reason for any absences, so that we can keep our records up to date.
Useful HSE links are below
What to do if your child is a close contact
Overview of Covid-19 Symptoms