August 17th 2020.
We hope you had a pleasant Summer and that your son is looking forward to returning to school. A huge amount of work has been going on in the background throughout the Summer and in the month of August to ensure that Oatlands College can re- open in a safe and positive manner for all the stake holders. I did not want to contact you with piecemeal information so this will be the first of a number of communications you will receive prior to the reopening of the College.
To allow for the necessary training and instruction to take place please see below the amended dates for the College re opening for your son[s].
Monday 31st August-Staff training and induction day.
Tuesday 1st September- 9.30 am to 3pm –1st Year Induction and training day [please ensure your son brings in a fully charged IPad, a snack for small break and a lunch]. 1st Years do not return to class until Monday 7th at 8.40 am.
Wednesday 2nd September- 2nd Year-9.30 am to 12.30 pm. Induction and training day [ please ensure your son brings in a fully charged IPad, a snack for small break].
Thursday 3rd September- 3rd Years-8.40 am to 10.40 for Induction and training day.
Thursday 3rd September- Transition Years-11 am to 12.50 pm for Induction and training.
Friday 4th September-5th Years-8.40 to 10.40 Induction and training.
Friday 4th September-6th Years 11 am. -12.50 pm Induction and training.
Monday 7th September Full timetable commences at 8.40 am.
Just to give you a brief update on where we are currently;
- The physical structure of the school has been totally re-organised to allow students return. By this I mean we have divided the school into designated zones for each year group, and as I type this letter all excess furniture is being removed and stored and the classrooms will contain only desks and chairs. Classroom furniture has been laid out in accordance with the social distancing guidelines. I would like to thank Ms Hare, Mr Enright, Mr Willoughby some 5th Year volunteers and staff members for their exceptional work in this logistical challenge.
- Each student will have a base classroom with a designated desk. This will limit movement around the school as students will only have to move for practical classes involving laboratories.
- There will be no lockers. This is to increase the size of the corridors to allow movement and also to prevent congregation.
- There will be signage throughput the school re movement from one area to another as well as all other Covid related signage.
- It is recommended that in Post Primary schools all students wear a mask if it is not possible to maintain a two metre distance .All students must have a clean mask with them every day and will not be permitted to enter the premises without a mask. Every student will receive a mask with the school crest on their return to school. Additional masks will be available for purchase if required.
- Students will be expected to wear full uniform every day in line with the Code of Behaviour.
- PE will continue as a subject. However, students will wear their PE gear for the full day on the day they are timetabled for this subject as changing rooms and shower facilities are unavailable.
- The Code of Behaviour is under review and will contain a section directly related to Covid-19.
- An initial order of PPE has been made, hand sanitisers are installed around the common areas and also one in every classroom.
- Each year group will be designated their own toilet/ bathroom.
- The canteen will be shut. We are currently working with Deirdre to look at a mobile canteen and a pre-ordering structure. Details to follow.
- We would ask where possible that payments take place online.
- As is our practice every year the College has been deep cleaned throughout the Summer. We are employing extra cleaning personnel when the school reopens to ensure all surfaces will be disinfected at the end of each day. High touch areas will be cleaned throughout the day. The use of shared equipment will be restricted.
- Students will clean their own desks at the start of each class if they have moved classrooms.
- Access to the school building will be limited to staff and students only unless there is an emergency.
- A room near the front door has been designated as a COvid isolation room should any students/member of staff become unwell.
We are living in very unusual times and the above instructions are very alien to how we run Oatlands College but your support in these matters would be hugely appreciated.
Once again I would like to emphasise that we are working very hard on behalf of your son to enable him to return to as safe an environment as possible.
There will be further updates as we come closer to the opening day. Please check the website and Twitter regularly for these updates.
Looking forward to seeing you all [from a distance] soon.