Public Health Update

Dear Parents & Guardians,

It’s wonderful that life has taken a step towards normality in the past few days. However, public health measures will continue in schools for the time being.

The virus is now so widespread that it is difficult for us to keep close track of it. Our best estimate is that 20% of pupils (that we know of) and 50% of staff have tested positive since last September. With the Omicron variant being so transmissable it is more likely that it will spread in a classroom. Some of our rooms have multiple cases at present and while it is not certain that it has spread in school, it is quite possible.

We will continue to notify you when we are made aware of confirmed cases in a class. We also ask you to continue to notify us; there are still people who are concerned about vulnerable people in their households.

Your cooperation has been outstanding so far and we fervently hope that the end is in sight for restrictions in schools. As we are not there yet, we ask for your continued support for a few more weeks.

Here’s hoping that the public health outlook will continue to improve. Thank you all again for your support, we really appreciate it.

John Threadgold

Return to School (January 2022)

Happy New Year to you all. We are pleased that our pupils are returning tomorrow. However, please remember the following public health advice:

If your child has symptoms of the virus, or lives in a household where someone has received a positive or “detected” test result either on a PCR or an antigen test then they should not attend school. We have been asked to remind all staff and children that if they have been told by the HSE that they are a close contact of a case of Covid-19, they need to adhere to the advice on the HSE website in relation to restricted movements and testing.

We have had almost universal compliance with public health guidelines that all staff and pupils from 3rd Class upwards wear face coverings. This is to continue for the time being. Thanks so much to everyone for your cooperation. All these measures contribute to keeping the school up and running.

Please complete the ‘return to school declaration’ on the Aladdin app when asked to do so. This serves as a reminder to parents that we are not living in normal times when it comes to illness in school.

Many of you are experiencing staff shortages in your workplaces. Schools have been under serious staffing pressure since last September and the situation is extremely difficult. We have managed to keep classes open every day this school year so far. Our priority is for this to continue, but we have to say this cannot be guaranteed and there is a possibility that a class may have to be sent home if there are no staff available. We assure you that this will only be as a last resort. We will try everything in our power to keep all classes open at all times as we have managed to date. We hope that if we can get through the next few weeks, things may improve somewhat.

Please remember that while we are very fortunate to have a warm, spacious school we must keep the building well ventilated so windows are open more than normal. An extra layer of clothing may be necessary.

We are very grateful to parents for informing us of positive cases (including over Christmas). This helps us to keep relevant people informed and to manage the virus in the school as best we can.

Please remember that books are to be brought back to school tomorrow.

Let’s hope and pray for a better 2022 for us all.

John Threadgold