Return to School

Dear Parents,

This is just a note to reassure you all that we are working quietly behind the scenes to ensure a safe return to school as planned. There are some details yet to be decided and the Board of Management is waiting for direction from the Department of Education. I believe that the delays in getting this information concerns a wish to get things right. All decisions are being informed by the scientific data available from countries which have successfully returned to school. The great news is that in the countries which have resumed onsite learning (Denmark, Germany, Austria and Switzerland) there was no reported increase in cases of Covid-19.

We will be in touch closer to our re-opening day to give parents an outline of what changes they might expect to see in September. For example we may not send home resources/books from school, each child will have his or her own colours, pencils and materials whereas in the past these were shared. Children are not required to wear face coverings. However you may decide to give your child a covering to wear where a social distance is not possible. Staff will wear a visor or face covering where social distancing is not feasible (working in close proximity to a child or group of children)

We will all be extra vigilant around noticing the symptoms of Covid-19 and children or staff presenting with symptoms will not come to school. Children may carry their own hand sanitiser and we will also provide both hand sanitiser and hand washing facilities.

In fact, the front line of defense for Covid-19 is very simple: Hand washing, Cough/Sneeze etiquette, Social distancing and Contact tracing. These issues have been very well managed in the West so far and I have every confidence that this will remain the case when school re-opens.

Three things you can do now:

  1. Practice hand washing, hand sanitising and cough etiquette with your child. Explain 1 metre social distancing.

  2. If you are worried that your child is vulnerable, get in touch with your specialist and she or he will give you advice on how you and the school can support your pupil. If you feel your child is anxious about returning to school, please email us with the brief details and we will do what we can to make the transition easier.

  3. Go onto the mywelfare.ie website and apply for a back to school clothing and footwear allowance. While this allowance (€150 age 4-11 and €275 age 12 -17) is means tested, many families in receipt of Covid allowance will qualify even if they did not do so in the past. All items are available at reasonable prices in the main stores as well as in Corcoran's and Patricia's Fashions in Newport. Ties can be purchased directly from the school online, or from Newport Tourist Office on Saturday mornings in August 10am-1pm (cash only, no change given)

In the remaining weeks of the holidays, I hope that you enjoy the fine weather. I wish for a full return to work for those of you who have not been in work since March.

Thank you for your patience. I will be in touch again soon to outline some of the finer details.

In the meantime Fan Slán.

Kind regards,

Bríd

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