Department of Education and Skills COVID-19 response plan for safe reopening of post primary schools

NEWS / 2 August 2020

The DES has published detailed guidance for the reopening of our school. We will continue to communicate with our school community as we prepare to reopen for the new year. Please see the Department website here for details.

See Irish Independent report, 'In pods we trust - how will schools work in the age of Covid' (Saturday 1 August 2020) below which included reference to Stratford's plans.

18 August 2020 See Stratford College Reopening Handbook and Updates here.

'Most schools did not wait until this week before beginning preparations for a return to school. At second-level, they followed preliminary guidelines indicating that there would be social distancing requirements.

At the fee-charging co-ed school Stratford College in Rathgar, there have been significant changes to the layout to avoid unnecessary interactions between pupils. Screens are being placed around teachers' desks, and fire escape stairs can be used so that there is a one-way system as teachers and students move around the school. The library has been turned into a quarantine area and the main assembly hall is to be used as a classroom.

Some of the senior cycle classes are already small, but larger junior cycle classes of about 28 will be broken up into two groups of 14. Lunch will be eaten in the classrooms, and assemblies will take place on screens. There will be staggered start times to the school day.

Principal Patricia Gordon tells Review that during lockdown, the school adapted quickly, as staff and students communicated via video conferencing services such as Zoom and Microsoft Teams.

"We still tried to emphasise that we were part of a school community and all in this together," she says. "There was a great spirit among staff and willingness to ensure that we continued teaching. There was 90pc engagement among students, which was great." In the coming weeks, there is bound to be some worry among students as they face the return to school after almost half a year away.'

The Irish Independent (Saturday 1 August 2020)

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