Like many of you we await the latest updates on COVID 19 and we wonder what happens next, in particular with the reopening of schools.  I am writing to assure you regardless of whether guidelines are issued tomorrow, next week or next month we are prepared and have been planning for all eventualities and will be ready.

Currently we are working in the background on our control measures for opening fully at the end of August as per the calendar. We are also examining other scenarios in case we are instructed otherwise, but for now we are getting ready to open fully and as close to normal as possible. This is all we can do at this point without further clarity on a national level.

   

There will be practical changes and it will be a little different. There will be an increased emphasis on hygiene and sanitisation, as well as new procedures aimed at minimising risk for all our school community. The school has installed hand sanitisers in every classroom, deep cleaned every single area and surface,  reorganised the circulation of students throughout the school and developed its outdoor areas, never mind been looking at the practical side of how teaching and learning will take place in each classroom on a day to day basis. We are doing as much as we can now so we will be confident and ready when any guidelines are issued and the school opens.

 

A comprehensive plan will be available to all parents, staff and students outlining our control measures for teaching and learning, specialised classes, potentially high risk activities and general day-to-day measures in August. We will not be releasing this until we receive guidelines from the Department of Education as they may be changes required at that point. At that point we will answer the more day to day questions many of you will have. I hope to address most of those in our communications in August.

 

We are currently working tirelessly behind the scenes to ensure our school day will be as normal as possible and also eliminating and reducing the risk associated with COVID-19 to as low as reasonably practicable.  We have a fully trained and full time Health and Safety advisor working through all the current guidelines as well as ensuring we look after our students and staff correctly, safely and in line with both our responsibilities as a school and employer. This has been ongoing since the school finished last term and will continue throughout next year as well.

 

Each area and activity is undergoing a risk assessment process and will be updated along with Department guidelines which are due to be issued to post-primary schools in August.

The success of our measures to ensure the safety and health of all our students and staff will of course rely on the co-operation of all members of our school community. Students, staff and parents will all be required to play a pro-active role in adhering to our safety protocols. A text will be sent to parents when all measures are in place.  

 

 And for those of you joining us for the first time this year, our first years, we will be ready. We are and will be doing our utmost to ensure  the return to school, and your first days with us are happy, productive and aimed at ensuring you settle in in the best way possible. We are looking forward to that the most during all of this, seeing our students back and welcoming our new ones.

 

Please be assured we will be in touch the minute we have further information, clarity and specific information with regard to school starting back.  I expect this to be in early August but await updates like you on a national level,

 

Kind regards,

 

Hugh Baker