School will reopen for all students from the 1st of September in whatever format makes it as safe as possible given the circumstances. While everyone wants school to operate as normally as possible, it is recognised by all that it will be a different environment to how school operated in March of this year. Physical distancing, much less interaction between classes and class groups, staggered start and finish times and a lot of flexibility within school to maximise school spaces will be a feature. Recognising that there will be a broad range of responses when the school community go back to school, ranging from children and their parents being happy and relieved to get back to school to some being fearful and nervous. There will be specific emphasis on the well-being of our school community, pupils and staff as we navigate through the reopening process. Specific supports will also be available for those children in vulnerable groups and who may have experienced loss, grief and bereavement during the period of school closure. A significant cultural shift in the behaviours of students, their families and staff is expected with each playing their roles in keeping each other safe -those who have symptoms or suspect they have the virus stay out of school -by maintaining best practice in terms of hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette in school -minimising social contacts and respecting physical distancing practices As part of the school reopening process their will be communication by the school with the school community on specific arrangements that will apply in the school is expected to support the cultural shift. The key themes of the Public Health Advice necessary to keep us all safe will permeate throughout the school community, with everyone: -Applying common sense -Adopting a balanced approach -Doing everything practical to avoid the introduction of COVID-19 into the school -Being aware of what we can all do to protect ourselves and each other, of how to recognise and report the symptoms of COVID-19, of the need to stay at home if we feel unwell and continuing to observe physical distancing, good hand hygiene and good respiratory etiquette. Details of how St. Dympna's N.S. will reopen and all the procedures etc. will be sent to all Parents as soon as possible.
Please see attached letter to parents from Norma Foley TD Minister for Education.