August 25th 2020
I am delighted that we are ready to open the school tomorrow on a staggered basis (please refer to previous school letter for times). We are really looking forward to welcoming the children back as it’s been a long time since seeing them last on March 12th. Of course we have a very special welcome for our new Junior Infants who are starting in Rathfeigh for the first time. We wish everyone a happy and safe year.
Re-opening the school safely will require co-operation of all members of the school community – Board of Management, staff, parents/guardians and the children. We all have our part to play in ensuring that the re-opening of the school is done in a safe manner which prevents the spread of the virus and allows the vital work of teaching and learning to proceed with as little disruption as possible.
We will be implementing some new procedures in accordance with guidance from the Department of Education and Science (DES). These procedures may change as we learn what works best and/or from the advice of the DES. There has been numerous meetings with the Board of Management over the summer months and we thank the Parents’ Association also for their valued input. I met with Shane (Chairperson of Parents’ Association) and Bridget earlier in the week to go through the layout of the various classrooms and the procedures that we will be implementing and I will continue to liaise with Shane over the coming weeks and months.
The HSE will be releasing a pamphlet with advice for parents/guardians on Covid-19. The HSE’s advice list four scenarios where a child must not be sent to school. These are when a child has:
- A temperature of 38 degrees Celsius or more. Please check your child’s temperature daily before coming to school,
- Any other common symptoms of coronavirus such as a new cough, loss or changed sense of smell, shortness of breath.
- Been in close contact with someone who is unwell and may have coronavirus.
- Been living with someone who is unwell and may have coronavirus.
If any of these situations are present the HSE advises that parents/guardians will need to:
- Isolate their child. This means keeping them at home and completely avoiding contact with other people as much as possible. Your child should only leave your home to have a test or see your GP.
- Phone your GP. They will advise you if your child needs a coronavirus test.
- Everyone that your child lives with should also restrict their movements at least until your child gets a diagnosis from their GP or a coronavirus test. This means not going to school, childcare setting or work.
- Treat your child at home for their symptoms.
Parents/guardians will be unable to enter the school grounds or school without prior appointment and where possible we will try to do most things over the phone. Parents/guardians will only be allowed into the school building under exceptional circumstances. A contact tracing list of all visitors will have to be filled in.
Mrs Campbell, Ms Reynolds and Ms O’ Donoghue will be our Lead Representatives. They will be situated at the entrances to the school every morning from 8.45 to 9am to ensure the children sanitise their hands correctly. The doors to the school will be closed at 9am sharp. Parents/guardians must ensure their children are in the school building before 9am. We will be putting an increased emphasis this year on punctuality. If you arrive to school after 9am you must accompany your child to reception. A contact tracing form must be filled out using your own pen. Persistent lateness to school will not be tolerated.
Please check the previous letter on the school website for the staggered openings. Please drop your child to school at the designated time and collect promptly please. As the children will only be in school tomorrow for 45 minutes there is no need to bring a school bag and lunch. The class teachers will be going through the new cleaning procedures, break times etc and will be able to answer any questions that the children may have. The children will get their school books on Thursday. The children will only be taking home school books if they need them for homework. For extra safety we are asking parents/guardians to sanitise the covers of books that the children have in their bags each morning before coming into school. The children will get their copies and journal on Thursday.
We will have a very thorough cleaning operation in place on a daily basis. All desks, chairs, touch points, toilets etc will be sanitised every day. We are also having an extra cleaner coming in daily from 12.40pm to 1.40pm in addition to our normal cleaning after school. We will also be using a “Fogger” after school daily. We thank Eimear Mofatt for very generously donating this to our school.
Special Needs Assistant
We are delighted to have a new member of staff. Nicola O’ Boyle is our new SNA. We welcome her to the staff and we wish her success and happiness in her time here in Rathfeigh. Best of luck Nicola.
On a sad note I would like to express my sympathy and condolences (on behalf of the staff and Board of Management) to Jackie Ross on the recent passing of her sister. Our thoughts are with Jackie in these difficult times.
Seamus Tansley (Principal)