Letter to Parents 02 Sept 2021

Dear Parent/ Guardian,
I know some of you have raised concerns with me during the opening days of the school term in relation to your students and their school bags. I wanted to highlight to you below the measures we have taken to ensure we can maintain social distancing in the school and prevent the spread of the Covid 19 virus. We were fortunate to have had just a single isolated case last year thanks to the measures we implemented on foot on the guidance issued to schools by the Dept. of Education and our patron TETB. As part of our protocols, a risk assessment was carried out to ascertain how best to maintain social distance in the school. As you know several measures including change of class times, staggered breaks, introduction of 58 minute classes, use of base rooms and addition of further classrooms were employed to support our efforts.
However, It was determined, due to the location and quantities of students lockers on the premises, that Lockers remain unavailable for students this year.
The reasons for this are two-fold:
  1. to adhere to physical distancing and avoid congestion at locker areas and,
  2. students will have books/notes at home in case of further lockdown / self-isolation.

Therefore, it will be very important for students to be well organized and to only bring books required each day to school.

It’s about returning to schools safely and sustainably and for us that has been our key objective.

We need to create an environment in this school which is as safe as it can possibly be for every person that is in here.

  • Students will not have access to lockers as social distancing cannot be maintained in these spaces. However,
  • 58 minute classes will reduce the number of books required thus reducing the weight of the bag.
  • Students have base classrooms so do not need to carry the bags around the school during the school day.
  • For specialist subjects they should leave their bags in their base room and only bring the materials needed for the specialist subject Science etc.
  • First year students are participating in the taster system for option subjects, teachers provide resources and handouts for these subjects, therefore no books are needed for now.
  • Students should not bring all their textbooks / workbooks to school (only what is requested to bring by teachers).
  • Students should pay particular attention to their timetables and only bring what is needed for the following day.
  • All wellbeing, CSPE, SPHE, Religion, Learning to learn books etc. can be left in school with the specific teachers.
  • Students may bring a school bag, pencil case and an A4 refill pad to take down notes.
  • According to guidelines, students are not permitted to share any class materials or equipment.
  • If any child has a particular health reason for not carrying textbooks, please make an arrangement to inform the child’s year head so that arrangements can be put in place to support this.
We hope in light of recent national announcements in relation to easing of restrictions that new guidance pertinent to schools will issue shortly and we review our practices here in Coláiste when that happens.

Michael O’ Connor

Coláiste Phobal Ros Cré,
Ros Cré,
Co. Tiobraid Árann.
E53 V449