Back to School – January 2022

05/01/2022

Dear Parents / Guardians,

We hope you had a peaceful and joyful Christmas. As we head into the New Year we want to wish you all a safe and prosperous New Year. Our school reopens for all pupils tomorrow, January 6th and we look forward to welcoming all our children back to their classrooms.

We ask that any books we sent home before Christmas be returned to school tomorrow and remind you that guidance around mask wearing and restricting movement if symptomatic are still in place.

Attached are the guidelines forwarded to schools today from the Department of Education and an Isolation quick guide for parents and guardians of children older than 3 months and up to 13 years of age from the HSE/HPSC.

Like you all I have been following the media discussions around the reopening of schools and it was with dismay and disappointment I heard the phrase “schools are safe” resurface. Again I repeat that in relation to the risk of Covid-19 infection, schools are no safer than the community which they serve and at the moment the risk of infection in our community and communities around the country is extremely high. The repetition of this “schools are safe” mantra places unfair stress and responsibility on schools as it creates a false sense of security and implies schools are somehow at fault if cases of Covid-19 are identified within the school. We continue to do our best to ensure the health and safety of your children and hope you can work with us to protect the pupils and staff of our school. Please ensure you have arrangements in place to collect your child should they be unwell in school.

As we reopen temperatures have dropped and the forecast for the rest of the week indicates it will remain chilly during the day. To ensure classrooms are properly ventilated we must keep windows open at all times and as a result classrooms are very cold. During Christmas we ordered air purifiers for our school but as stocks are limited these will not be delivered until next week at the earliest. When they arrive we hope our classrooms will not require as many open windows and rooms will be a little warmer, but we will still need to ensure rooms are adequately ventilated so some windows will have to remain open.  

The prevalence of the Omicron variant of Covid-19 has resulted in many people contracting the virus or being flagged as close contacts and as a result many workplaces are finding it difficult to source staff. As you are aware we faced this problem before Christmas and may find ourselves in a similar situation over the coming weeks. Unfortunately there may be times when we will have to ask individual rooms to remain at home at short notice and we ask for your patience and understanding if this happens.

Regards

Greg Gilligan

Return-to-School-Guidance-from-HSE-Public-Health

Isolation-quick-guide-for-parents-and-guardians-of-children-older-than-3-months-and-up-to-13-years-of-age