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A meeting was held last month by a number of Newry primary school principals to discuss the way forward and the implications of the Department of Education's Re-Opening School Guidance following the Coronavirus pandemic.

The Newry Area Primary Principals (NAPP) a group of about 35 Primary Principals from Newry, South Down and South Armagh agreed that schools would re-open 24 August and procedures would be put in place to deal with circumstances introduced by the Covid-19 crisis.

* Schools will communicate with parent in mid August in prepartation for the induction week for pupils commencing 24 August.

Decisions Made

  • Schools in our area will reopen on Monday 24th August for an induction week which will focus on the pastoral needs of our pupils, their health and wellbeing and the enhancement of a ‘reconnect’ between pupil and school, helping our pupils settle back into the new school day and the changes to their school environment.  Specific details regarding dates and times will be provided by your child’s school in due course.
  • Various patterns for reopening are being discussed.  Schools will communicate with you their most viable options.  However, as Principals we are aware that the situation remains fluid and subject to change, if for instance, social distancing requirements are amended. 
  • Arrangements regarding staggered arrivals/collections may be necessary and details will be communicated to you on an individual school basis. All parents will be asked to remain outside school buildings to reduce footfall and the potential spread of the virus. 
  • Pupils are asked to wear a fresh school uniform every day.  This may alternate between their formal uniform/school tracksuit.
  • School bags or other items from home should not be brought into school.  Packed lunches should be in disposable packaging. 
  • No guidance has yet been issued to schools with regard to nursery provision, transport or school meals.  Details will follow.
  • We as Principal’s and our school staff will be reinforcing the good practice that you are undertaking at home, to educate your children in the necessary measures for minimising the spread of the virus, e.g. ‘Catch it, Bin It, Kill It’, thorough handwashing, maintaining social distance etc. we trust that this good practice will continue. 
  • It is your responsibility to access and follow school communications e.g. Website, school app etc.  Please ensure that you regularly access those platforms employed by your child’s school.

All of this information is subject to change in light of fast evolving Department of Education Guidance and the group will continue to meet over the summer to explore how the needs of pupils will be met and yet remain compliant with Department of Education and Public Health Authority Guidance.

Edit 

* line added 2.30pm 22/7/20

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