Dear Parents/Guardians & Students,
We would like to wish you a Happy New Year and we hope you had a restful break over Christmas.
As has been reported widely, school reopening after Christmas is being severely affected by Covid and this is impacting on the ability of schools to provide in-person teaching and learning to students. Since yesterday, a considerable number of schools have been forced to keep certain year groups at home in order to maintain a safe working environment for students.
Despite a significant level of staff absence, in GCC we are currently running a full timetable with supervision being provided (as normal) to classes where subject teachers are absent. When subject teachers are absent it is important that students use the opportunity for self-directed learning in terms of homework, revision and preparation for upcoming assessments. Parents are asked not to come to the school to collect students unless they have a medical appointment. In this case a note should be provided to the Class Teacher as per our normal procedures.
We will update parents as required through our school website and text messaging system. Within the resources available to us, we will endeavour to minimise the disruption to class timetables, however, the situation is very fluid and may change at short notice. We are grateful for your understanding of the challenges the school will face in the coming weeks and for your patience as we work to overcome them.
We would like to remind parents of the importance of providing a note of explanation in their child’s journal for all absences from school. For our students to take full advantage of the educational opportunities offered in our school, it is vital that each student is at school, on time, every day the school is open, unless the reason for the absence is unavoidable. Our established procedures require parents to contact the school to let us know if a child is going to be absent and to also provide a written explanation, via the school journal, to account for all absences. This will be checked by Class Teachers on their return to school, as it is of the utmost importance that we have accurate records of the attendance of all students.
Please note you can check your child’s daily attendance by logging into your VSWare account and accessing the Attendance Tab. We thank you for your support in support ensuring your child’s consistent school attendance and participation as absenteeism has a negative impact on student engagement and learning.
COVID-19: Updated Arrangements for all recognised Post Primary Schools – January 2022
Please see below updated advice to schools from Public Health and the Department of Education
Students and COVID-19 (Post Primary Schools)
Students who have symptoms of COVID-19 should stay at home, isolate and arrange to have a COVID-19 test.
If a student is identified as a CLOSE CONTACT of a case in their HOUSEHOLD they will have to restrict their movement as per national guidelines for household close contact and get a COVID-19 test as soon as
If a post primary student has tested positive for COVID-19:
• They will be contact traced by the National Contact Tracing Team.
• The National Contact Tracing Team will contact them and ask them to identify their close contacts.
• The student who tested positive will have to isolate for 10 days from the day their symptoms started or for 10 days from the day they had the positive PCR test.
• The student can return to school after this isolation period, provided they do not have a fever/temperature during the last 5 days of their isolation period.
There are 2 types of COVID-19 tests available from the HSE: antigen tests (home test kits) and PCR tests (done at a test centre and sent to a lab).
Students (or anyone between 4 to 39 years of age) who has symptoms of COVID-19 are offered antigen tests firstly and they do not book a PCR test unless they get a positive antigen test result.
Influenza Vaccination Campaign 2022
The nasal flu vaccine is now available for all children aged between 2 and 17. Please click on the link below to view a letter to schools’ from Dr Lucy Jessop, Director of Public Health with further information.
Please also click on the following link to view the facts about the Influenza Virus for children in this age category:
We hope you have a nice weekend
GCC Senior Management
Ronan McCarthy (Principal), Gertie Cahill (Deputy Principal), Seamus Kennefick (Deputy Principal), Sean McGrath (Deputy Principal)