Dear Parents & Guardians,
Just bringing you an update in regards to school re opening tomorrow.
As Principal of the school I am looking forward to starting a new term but there is a very dark cloud on the horizon.
I know that all Principals are under severe stress to find substitute teachers to cover for Staff leave.
As a member of the local IPPN Principals support group, we carried out a survey this morning. As of today there are 100 teachers in 39 schools in the Meath/Louth counties unavailable to work tomorrow.
There are no substitutes available and with only four teachers on our local Supply Panel to service 19 schools, it has been impossible to source any.
The question is then, who takes these classes?
We also have to take into consideration that substitute teachers too are unavailable due to COVID related matters in their home.
It is absolutely appalling that the government did not make provision for additional mitigation measures to be put in place during the course of the holidays. There has been no forward planning and no communication or directive to schools until today.
The goalposts have changed considerably since we closed on the 23rd of December 2021.
The initial weeks of 2022 are going to be extremely challenging for schools. Some of my Principal friends have had to make the difficult decision to close classes due to unavailability of Teachers.
This is not what we want for any school community.
I am holding the government fully accountable for their lack of communication, herd mentality and shambolic use of language towards our profession.
What other profession would have to endure such working conditions, doors and windows wide open, freezing temperatures, poor ventilation, Staff wearing coats, hats and scarves.
What do they mean when they talk about Child protection?, children sitting in cold classrooms, children not accessing a full curriculum, children confined to bubbles and pods, limited socialization, limited access for schools and parents to outside agencies and much needed services to support the most vunerable in our school community.
This education system is falling on its knees but for the wonderful, super heroic efforts by a strong, determined, Teacher body, and in the case of SSN, our amazing, caring Staff who go beyond the call of duty to be there for all 434 pupils.
As Principal of the school you will understand that I can only prepare and plan for a day at a time.
The level of unpredictability is overwhelming and we will endeavor to do our very best to keep the classes and our school open.
But we can only stretch ourselves so far to include myself supporting the Team by subbing if and when is necessary.
We have 5 Staff who are unavailable to work this week due to COVID related matters, however I am happy to inform you that I have been successful in booking a sufficient number of replacement Teachers for Thursday and Friday.
This will all be reviewed again at the weekend and in response to the ongoing changing landscape in our school community.
We will be redoubling our efforts to ensure that our school remains as safe as humanly possible in 2022.
We would appreciate your ongoing support with our COVID Response plan to include the office protocols.
Most importantly do not send your child to school if presenting with symptoms. Children should remain at home if they are feeling unwell or have any COVID-19 symptoms.
I attach for your consideration the latest guidelines from the HSE.
Lets all continue to work collaboratively and collectively to protect our School Community.
Scoil an Spioraid Naoimh
Roll Number: 20017F
041 – 9828091