PRIMARY schools nationwide have been given the green light to re-open fully on Monday, March 15, the Department of Education has confirmed.
A letter to principals confirmed that the Department of Health and the HSE has reaffirmed that the gradual phased reopening can proceed as planned.
The gradual phased re-opening of primary school students in recent weeks has proved a success which has ensured that all primary school students can now return to classrooms. Junior infants, senior infants, first-class and second class students all returned on Monday, March 1. The remaining primary school pupils are now scheduled to return next Monday.
Schools have been reminded that ‘all unnecessary travel should be avoided and schools must make every effort to avoid organising events that could lead to the congregation of pupils’, while parents and pupils are being reminded not to congregate on the school grounds or at the school gate.
Alan Sheehan who is the principal of Rochestown Educate Together NS is looking forward to welcoming all the students back next Monday.
“We are delighted. We are thrilled that the whole school will all be back together. It was very unusual in recent weeks to have only half the school back. We can’t wait to have them back again. It is very positive and it is what we all want. Schools are very eerie places when there is nobody there. It will be great to hear the laughter, the chatter and the singing once again.
“We will be emphasising to all parents however that we are still in Level 5 and vigilance needs to be maintained. So far, our parents have been great and our students are remarkable. They immediately got back into their old safety procedures once again,” he said.
Mr Sheehan said the initial return of the four primary school classes worked very well on Monday, March 1.
"Online teaching worked well, but there is no replicating teaching students in a classroom situation. It is great to have them back in a learning environment. Hopefully we will stay open as we don’t want a stop-start scenario which is not good for anybody,” he added.