A message for all parents and staff

All,


Thank you for all the work you have done over the past six weeks. It has been a challenging time and we didn't expect the lockdown to be so prolonged. The children have cooperated very well with their teachers and SNA's and have done their best to attend to school work.


I think that the highlight of the term so far was the lovely flurry of snow we had. Your photos of children and pets playing outside brought great joy to everyone.


We are delighted to now have a framework in place which guides us in the re-opening of our school for everyone, eventually. Further to the Government decision and the Taoiseach’s address last evening, I am pleased to advise that the next phase of school reopening will commence from 1st March 2021.

Under the framework the following return to in-school provision on 1 March 2021 has been agreed:

  • Special classes to continue full time.

  • Primary Classes for – Junior Infants, Senior Infants, First and Second classes will reopen fully from Monday 1 March 2021.

  • Primary Classes for - Third, Fourth, Fifth and Sixth classes will reopen fully from Monday 15 March 2021.

From Monday next, all SNA's, Junior class teachers and SET teachers will work in the school building. We will once again focus on welcoming children back to school while being mindful of challenges that the transition might bring. We will have additional teachers on hand from Monday to help pupils overcome any anxiety or worries they may have joining their class.


Parents are advised to treat the return to school as a normal event. We will continue to implement the Covid-19 protocols which worked so well from September to December. We are mindful that rates of infection in our community are very low and therefore children are not being put at risk by returning to class. Children's and staff wellbeing will be at the forefront of our engagement and there is no reason to worry about lost time. Many studies show that children are very resilient and will catch up over time so we will take the advice of our ancestors and make haste slowly! (festina lente).


As you know, we have been tracking the impact of Covid-19 within our school community for the past 7 weeks (results attached), and, while just a crude measure of virus transmission, it indicates a very low rate of infection and that containment measures are working. Everyone returning to school will be asked to complete a Return to School Safely declaration. You will receive this in the coming days.



The usual arrangements for dropping off and collecting children apply. Masks must be worn by all adults on school grounds. Children are free to wear masks if it makes them feel safer while moving about outside of their classroom. Adults must not congregate outside cars, as we know that the new, more transmissible virus thrives in gatherings.


For now, we are ready and raring to go. We look forward to having a full school of enthusiastic learners and hopefully this term will be one of the best ever.


Lives have been changed by this unavoidable challenge. Please feel free to contact me through the confidential school email office@newportns.ie if there is something bothering you. Even if this matter is unrelated to school, we may be able to help. No-one should struggle alone.


Kind regards,

Bríd

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