December 9th 2020
Dear Parents & Guardians
2020 will be a memorable year for many reasons.
Things were going along just fine until Friday 13th March, when we said our goodbyes to the children for that academic year, right through to Thursday 13th August when we were finally issued with our Education Restart guidance and we quickly finalised our plans for welcoming our boys and girls back to school.
While we got off to a great start in the first half term we had a turbulent end for some classes at the Halloween break and now again coming up to this Christmas break. As many of you know we have currently eight classes out of school, 3 of them due back next Tuesday, 1 on Thursday with the rest due back on Friday 18th. As a result of the fear in many families linked to these classes, other family members have been staying at home to protect their family on the run up to Christmas.
We want all families linked to our school, and families of our children and staff, to have a wonderful Christmas. While we may be forced to close classes, if Covid affects our bubbles next week, we are doing everything within our gift to keep your children and their bubbles safe. It is so important that if your child is unwell to be cautious at this time. It is also essential that if anyone in your household feels unwell and needs to get tested, then the whole household isolates, and children must stay at home, until the result of that test is known.
We have been informed by Minister Weir that the support mechanisms around Track and Trace for schools will collapse for the holiday period on the basis that most schools close on the 18th December 2020. Therefore, we plan to implement a small change to the final 2 school days and hope this will not impact too much on your family.
Instead of in-school classes right through to half day Tuesday 22nd, we will run remote learning with the children on Monday 21st and make contact on the 22nd with a special Christmas message. Therefore, our last teaching day in school will be Friday 18th December (normal times apply). If we are all lucky enough to get through that weekend without PHA contact tracing notification then everyone should be able to have a Christmas free from “self-isolation” and make it, as much as possible, a family time.
School will restart for all pupils on Wednesday 6th January, and we look forward to getting back in the new 2021 year.
From all the teaching and support staff at St Francis’ PS, our Bunscoil and our Nursery Team, we thank you for your support this year and wish you and your families a healthy and happy Christmas.