Message from Chris

15th September 2020

Parent Health Letter

Dear Parents and Caregivers,

We are looking forward to welcoming the children back to school in phases over the coming weeks.

I am pleased to announce that today we have received approval from EDB for the resumption of classes in the phases outlined in my previous newsletter. As a reminder, we have built a website with the information you need to support your child for return to school. You can find the website here.

I am writing to you with key information about children’s health. The intention of this letter is to reiterate the expectations, and provide additional information for parents about the measures we have taken to address any health concerns.

It is for the whole community to be especially vigilant about our children’s health, and I ask that parents are extra cautious when sending children to school, if they show the symptoms below.

Temperature Checks and Health Issues

EDB, CHP, and the school require every child to have their temperature checked before children come to school each morning. At Glenealy we will be asking parents to complete this on the school ESF App.

It is crucial that this temperature is taken each morning before setting off to school. If your child has a temperature of 37.5 degrees or above you should not send or bring them to school. We will send a reminder to you via the school ESF App if the temperature is not completed by 8:00 am each day.

  • If your child shows ANY sign of respiratory issues, fever, loss of taste or smell please do not send or bring them to school. We advise parents to seek medical advice if their child shows any of these symptoms.

  • If your child has a temperature of 37.5 degrees or above you should not send or bring them to school.

  • If any member of your family at home tests as preliminary positive for COVID-19, your family will be deemed to be close contacts, and your child should therefore not attend school.

  • If you child is tested as preliminary positive for COVID-19, please notify the school immediately. CHP will also notify the school in these instances.

  • Our staff team will be encouraged to be vigilant about their own health and will stay home if they feel in any way unwell - cover will be provided on site for absent staff members.

  • If there were to be a staff or student confirmed case we would notify parents in the community immediately (please see below section on COVID-19 cases).

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Hand Sanitising, Masks, Distance and Cleaning

  • We will be using the 3M’s with the children - Meters Matter, Masks Matter and My Clean Hands Matter.

  • All children entering the school site will be required to sanitize their hands.

  • Hand sanitizer will be available in each class room and children will sanitize when they enter and leave the classroom.

  • Cleaning within CHP guidelines will be undertaken of classrooms three times each day.

  • Resources that children use will be cleaned and sanitized

  • Class rooms will be well ventilated.

  • Children will be sitting face to back in classrooms the majority of the time, where this is not the case they will be separated by plastic dividers.

  • Masks need to be worn by children at all times. Please send two masks each day with your child - one to be worn and one as a spare. These are worn in lessons, around school and at break time

  • Masks will not need to be worn if undertaking strenuous PE lessons on the playground outside, in line with CHP guidance.

  • Movement around the school will be controlled, with designated staircases for different year groups to avoid the cross over of year groups in stairwells.

  • Children will be able to use the toilets but the number of children will be strictly limited to reduce any overcrowding. Markers indicate queueing areas outside toilets.

  • Break time will be on a ‘shift’ pattern to ensure children have enough space to avoid crowding and maintain social distancing as much as possible at break times.

  • We will not be loaning ‘home’ reading books at this time. All books used in school will be sanitized on their return to the library.

What happens if there is a COVID-19 case at school?

Please be aware that the purpose of our stringent health measures, vigilance at home and school, along with the before school temperature checks is to keep everyone as healthy and as safe as possible at school.

If a child is sent to school who later tests preliminarily positive for COVID-19, the CHP will take up any investigation. This will, in all likelihood, result in CHP closing the whole school site for 14 days. They will also undertake contact tracing.

Please note the relevant section from the EDB Guidance:

5.3 When a confirmed case of COVID-19 is found in a school. If a student or staff is confirmed to be a case of COVID-19, CHP will conduct an epidemiological investigation and contact tracing. Close contacts will be put under quarantine and other contact will be put under medical surveillance. Based on the condition of the schools, CHP will inform EDB and the school concerned to discuss the suitable arrangements (e.g., cleaning and disinfection of school premises, schooling arrangements) that have to be made.

Please note: “Close contacts” within the guidance are deemed to be those who have come into contact with the bodily fluids of the confirmed case, or those living with the confirmed case.

School Buses Update

For our children who use the school bus, below is the schedule for resumption.

September 16th-22nd - No school buses will run for Year 1 children. Please arrange for the ‘drop off’ and ‘pick up’ your children.

September 23rd onward - School buses will run as usual for those parents who use these. Please liaise directly with the bus company, or phone the school office for more information.

Please note that children will need to wear their mask at all times on the bus. Please ensure the temperature check is taken before your child gets on the school bus each day.

Drop off and Pick Up

You can find details of the staggered drop off and pick up times on the website. Please do not gather or congregate on the school grounds during these times. At pick up times, to avoid overcrowding on site, once you, or a carer, has collected your child please leave the site. If you have siblings in school, we will allow the older child (due to be collected first on the staggered collection times) to wait in the playground until a caregiver arrives to collect the younger child.

Finally, we are really looking forward to seeing you and the children over the coming weeks and getting the children back into school whilst enjoying their on-site learning experience safely. This week we will talk with the children in assemblies about the planned health measures to begin to get them prepared. Thank you all for your support over the past weeks, if you have any questions please let me know.

Best Regards