Dear Parents/Guardians & Students,
We hope you continue to enjoy your Summer break. We are currently working to put procedures in place so we can safely welcome back our students and teachers as planned from the 31 August. We would like to update you on some recent developments concerning the reopening of our school.
The Roadmap for the full return to school was published on 27 July 2020 by the Minister for Education and Skills, Norma Foley. Please click on the link below to view a letter to parents from the Minister.
There are a number of substantial documents to be consulted around the reopening process. The 2 key documents are (1) Reopening Our Schools The Roadmap for the Full Return to School and (2) COVID-19 Response Plan for the safe and sustainable reopening of Post Primary Schools. Links to both documents are provided, should you wish to familiarise yourself with the guidelines and recommendations.
- Please click on the following link to view the document Reopening Our Schools The Roadmap for the Full Return to School
- Please click on the following link to view the document COVID-19 Response Plan for the safe and sustainable reopening of Post Primary Schools
The school is currently considering the documents provided by the Department of Education and Skills (DES) and has already begun working on implementing the DES recommendations. We are also consulting with our Patron body, Cork ETB, to ensure that the school is able to provide a safe teaching and learning environment for all our students and staff.
From developing a Covid-19 Policy document, completing return to work protocols and updating our risk assessment there is much for the school to do in a very short timeframe. As always, we will be dependent on the support and co-operation of parents, staff and students to ensure the successful reopening of our school. The most critical part of managing the risks of COVID-19 in schools is to do everything practical to avoid the introduction of COVID-19 into the school. The documents provided by the DES identify the steps schools can take to do everything practical to avoid the introduction of COVID-19 into the school. They also identify the steps that can be taken to reduce the likelihood of the spread within the school itself, in the event that COVID-19 is introduced to the school. The range of supports available to schools is also outlined.
Our key priority is to provide a safe learning and teaching environment and to ensure the systems and procedures are in place to support the best possible learning outcomes. The key challenge for schools is to balance the need for a practical and sensible level of caution with the need to provide a supportive environment for teaching and learning. We must all apply common-sense in our approach. Whilst we acknowledge and understand individual concerns and anxieties around the potential risk of infection, an excessive preoccupation with infection and hygiene may also be detrimental to academic engagement and progress. It is important for all of us in our school community to accept that no interpersonal activity is without risk of transmission of infection at any time. As the current national and international trends have shown, it is not possible to guarantee that infection can be prevented in any setting either in an education centre, at home or in any other setting that involves human interaction.
It is our intention to update you on our progress at regular intervals through the school website. Updates will be provided on the following dates*:
- Friday 7 August
- Friday 14 August
- Friday 21 August
- Friday 28 August
* Please note these are planned updates. If other more urgent updates are required you will be notified by text to access the school website.
GCC Senior Management Team