Everyone has been working very hard to ensure a safe reopening of schools for staff, students and their families.
There will be new rules and routines to follow, that are there to keep everyone safe.
Most students will be looking forward to going back to school and will feel happy and excited. Some may feel a little anxious about returning. That’s a normal response at a time of change. Most will settle back in soon once they get used to the new rules and routines. Remind them of the positive aspects of returning – like re-connecting with friends and re-engaging with school activities.
Good hand washing will be important for all students. Make sure your child knows to use a tissue to cover coughs or sneezes or to cough or sneeze into their elbow.
At primary and post-primary levels, schools will put in place physical distancing procedures.
In primary school, younger children may not be required to practice physical distancing, but they may be organised into pods. There may also be new rules about drop off and pick up.
Staff in all schools, and post-primary students, are required to wear a face covering where a physical distance of 2 metres cannot be maintained.
Encourage your child to walk or cycle to school if possible and safe to do so.
Post-primary students will be required to wear a face covering when waiting for and when onboard the bus.
Schools will communicate directly with families about reopening. Talk together at home about what to expect when going back to school. You should let the school know of any concerns you have about your child’s learning experience during the school closure period.
Having healthy routines in place will help with the adjustment of returning to school. Encourage your child to gradually introduce bedtime routines that are closer to those used during school term.
Also, help your child to eat healthily, take exercise and re-connect with friends.
Teachers understand that it hasn’t been easy to learn at home during school closures and they will support students to be ready to learn.
Anyone who has COVID-19 symptoms, including a fever, a cough, shortness of breath or breathing difficulties, or loss or change to their sense of smell or taste should not attend school. Please follow guidance from the HSE on self-isolation and phone your doctor. Make sure students know that if they feel unwell in school they should tell their teacher straight away.
Remember we all have a role to play in getting everyone back to school safely.