Important Update Re: School Reopening Tomorrow

Dear Parent / Guardian,

Happy New Year to you all! I hope that you were able to have an enjoyable break with your families and that you are all keeping safe and well.

School is set to re-open tomorrow, Thursday 6th of January 2022.  Drop off begins at 8.35 am. Please do not drop your child to school before this time.

As you are all aware, the Covid-19 transmission rates have increased significantly in our community since December. Many of our families and staff have tested positive for Covid-19 over the last two weeks.  I hope that anyone affected by this is now feeling better.  As a result, child, parents and staff need to be extra vigilant about Covid-19 symptoms in the coming months.

Please email me directly if your child tests positive during school term time at principal@lucaneastet.ie .

When do I keep my child at home?

Please keep your child at home if your child:

  • Is generally unwell or have been unwell anytime over the previous 48 hours before they are due to go to school
  • Has a temperature (38 degrees or above)
  • Has been given Calpol of Neurfen or any medicine for coughs, colds, temperatures etc. before school.
  • Has a new unexplained cough or a cough that has gotten worse
  • Has a headache / sore throat/ muscle pain / vomiting or diarrhoea.
  • There is a Covid 19 positive case in the household
  • There is a person in the house waiting on PCR results
  • Has received a positive antigen or PCR test
  • The HSE has asked you or your child to restrict your movements

If your child exhibits any of these symptoms while at school, we will call home immediately to get them collected. Please make sure that there are two phone numbers on Aladdin Connect and that both numbers are working. We ask that you come to the school within 15 minutes of the phone call.

Staff will also follow this protocol to keep your children safe – this means that your child’s teacher may be absent from school also.

Isolation guide from the HSE for children is attached here

What mitigation factors are in place in the school?

Ventilation

There are CO2 monitors installed in every classroom to monitor the air quality in each classroom. We are still awaiting guidance and funding to purchase HEPA filters for classes. However, even when these filters become available, the windows still need to be left open to ensure circulation of fresh air. The heating will be on in the school. However, the weather is now very cold and will be for the next two months. Please dress your child in layered clothes so that they will be warm

Sanitising & Mask wearing

  • All children will be asked to sanitise their hands before entering and leaving their class.  There is frequent hand washing throughout the day, so please ensure your child has their individual clean hand towel with them every day.
  • Children from 3rd – 6th class are asked to wear face masks during the day. We have spare masks in school for any children who forget to bring one to school.
  • All staff wear masks in the building and on the yard during the day.
  • All adults collecting children from the grounds are asked to wear facemasks at all times, in accordance with our Covid-19 Response Plan.

Positive case – Pods / Bubbles

  • Children sit in pods (groups of 6)
  • When there is a positive case in the class, I will let the class know (by email) about the case.  This will make you aware of the case and to monitor symptoms in your child.  Your child can continue to come to school, if they have no symptoms.
  • If your child sits at the same pod as the positive case, I will let you know and give you details on how to order free antigen tests from the HSE.   Your child can continue to come to school, if they have no symptoms. You administer 3 antigen tests over 5 days on your child and once their results are negative they can continue to come to school. 
  • Confidentiality is adhered to regarding the Covid-19 case.
  • If there is more than one positive case in the class over 7 days, all students in the class will be treated as close contacts and will be able to order antigen tests online or on the phone.
  • If your child receives a positive antigen test, please contact your GP to organise a PCR test. Please keep siblings home until you have the PCR results.

I am aware that there will be a lot of absences this term from children and staff. I know that it is extremely difficult to get a PCR test at the moment, with the high level of transmission in the community. The best way to get a test is to contact your GP directly. They will organise a test for you.

PLEASE COMPLETE THE RETURN TO SCHOOL DECLARATION FORM ON ALADDIN CONNECT AT 3PM TODAY.

I know that situations are different for each family and that it is difficult to manage restrictions with day to day life, however, it is so important that sick / close contact children or staff do not come to school in order to keep the school community safe and the school operational.

If you or your family are experiencing any difficulty at the moment and need help, please get in touch at principal@lucaneastet.ie or with our HSCL sinead@lucaneastet.ie

As ever, thank you for all your support and cooperation. We are excited to welcome the children back tomorrow. We will continue to do our very best to provide the best opportunities to your children during these very challenging times.

Take care and see you soon,

Grainne