Letter from the Principal March 14th

Below is a copy of the email sent to parents/guardians March 14th

March 14th 2020As you are now aware, all schools have been instructed to close until the 30th March 2020. We understand that this is a difficult time for parents and guardians, when you may need to consider the reorganisation of childcare whilst ensuring the impact on your children’s education is minimised. We want to support you and your children as much as we can at this time. This announcement came quite suddenly and teachers had very little time to prepare. However, we have put arrangements in place which will support and extend pupil learning while the school is closed.

Teachers have given serious consideration to the type of work to assign and have compiled a series of tasks and activities that will be made available daily.  Assignments will be teacher-led but pupil-managed and self-correcting. The schedules of work have been agreed by teachers at each level and will be built around Reading, Maths and project work. Please bear in mind that the assignments are not compulsory nor is it a requirement that children complete every activity listed. It is up to you and your child to decided what work you would like to carry out during this time off school. It is also important that you are mindful of your child’s age, ability and learning needs. Please be assured that teachers will not be expecting all children to have completed the same amount of work. At most, we suggest that  at the present time,  pupils in the lower half of the school would spend no more time than half an hour a day on these assignments and no more than one hour for those in the upper half.

  • Assignments will be posted for what would have been school days starting next Wednesday, the 18th March.
  • Classes from Junior Infants to 2nd will receive a daily schedule of work available on the homework section of Aladdin Connect. This section was recently enabled  and can be viewed on your Aladdin app or web browser .
  • Third to Sixth classes will receive their assignments on Google Classroom.  Google Classroom has just been launched by the school , so teachers and pupils received only a very brief introduction. All children were given their login details but they will need your assistance to download the app or login via the website at home .We feel that this platform will best support teachers’ endeavours to help parents and pupils during this unplanned break from school.
  • If you have any problems accessing  Google Classroom. please email Deputy@saintbrigids.ie.
  • Children who were absent from school will receive their log-in details in a text message shortly.

Those parents who may wish to find alternatives to the above may find these sites useful:

Without any doubt, the most valuable things you could do over the next while is to encourage your child to read regularly . Each child in the upper classes brought home a class novel and I believe that the shared reading of this will bring much enjoyment and benefit to your child and your family.

Please find attached a nice social story about COVID-19 and some information from the Department of Education about speaking to your children about the virus.  More  information, ideas and recommendations will be posted on our website and twitter feed @stbrigidsns in the days ahead.

I hope that everyone keeps healthy and safe over the next few weeks and we look forward to welcoming you all back to school as soon as possible.

Yours sincerely,

Denis Courtney.

Coronavirus 2nd Update

March 11th 2020

Dear Parents or Guardians,

We want to update you on what we are doing to protect our school community against the possible spread of the COVID-19 (also known as Coronavirus).  In our recent email, we attached a letter from the Chief Medical Officer and we outlined the advice we received from the HSE This advice is below and has not changed.

1. If, in the past 14 days, a parent, guardian or child has travelled to Ireland from any of the identified affected countries/regions e.g. Italy, Tenerife and they remain symptom free, they should visit the HSE website for advice and remain vigilant and alert to possible symptoms.

https://www2.hse.ie/conditions/coronavirus/coronavirus.html

2. If, in the past 14 days, a parent, guardian or child has been in contact with a person who has Novel Coronavirus, or attended a hospital/healthcare facility where patients with novel Coronavirus are being treated but they feel well and do not have any symptoms of respiratory disease, they need to: Contact HSELive  on 1850 24 1850

3. If in the past 14 days, a parent, guardian or child has:

  • travelled to Ireland from any of the identified areas, or
  • been in contact with a person who has novel Coronavirus, or
  • attended a hospital/healthcare facility where patients with novel Coronavirus are being treated
  • AND they feel unwell, especially with respiratory symptoms (e.g. cough, high temperature, shortness of breath, difficulty breathing), then they should: isolate themselves (i.e. stay separate from other people) and phone their GP immediately – giving their GP their travel history and symptoms. Your GP will advise you of the next steps over the phone.

In addition to the advice above we also ask that parents and guardians 

  • inform the school in confidence in all of the incidences above. We have several children and teachers in our school with compromised immune systems. Others have relatives at home who need to be aware of illnesses that may be present in the school community in order to protect their health.
  • if your child is unwell with a cough, cold or temperature please keep them at home. Children who attend school while unwell will be sent home.
  • if your child has asthma please send their inhaler with them to school.
  • if visiting the school please use the sanitiser in the foyer even if only calling to Reception for a moment.
  • please check your contact details and emergency contacts are correct on our Aladdin system.
  • ensure your child knows and uses the correct hand washing method and practices good respiratory hygiene.

We are doing everything we can in school to curtail the spread of this virus. We have installed sanitisers at all entry points and outside communal areas within the school. We also replaced all towels with paper towels and soap with liquid dispensers. It is important that children rinse their hands well to avoid irritation. Classes have wipes to clean their desks before eating and children are expected to use sanitising gel on returning to class after both breaks. We are conscious that going forward, supplies of gels and wipes may be difficult to source so we are asking children to bring in their own hand sanitiser if possible.

Our cleaning staff are instrumental in helping us to stay healthy. We have asked them to pay particular attention to table tops, backs of chairs, bannisters, handles and light switches and to be extra vigilant when cleaning the classrooms of children or staff with low immunity.

Protecting the health of our pupils, staff and community is now a priority and is dependent on each of us adhering to the advice from the HSE. We welcome your support and co-operation in our efforts to minimise the spread of this virus in our school.

Wishing you all continued good health in the coming weeks.

Sincerely,

Denis Courtney

Updated letter to schools March 10th

Save the Bees

We are collecting Save the Bee  flower cards from Supervalu so if anyone gets one please send it in to school and we can add it to the chart. Thank youWe are collecting Save the Bee  flower cards from Supervalu so if anyone gets one please send it in to school and we can add it to the chart. Thank you

Mumps

Dear Parent/Guardian,

There has been a case of mumps in  4th class in our school and your child may have been exposed. It is recommended that all children have 2 doses of MMR (measles, mumps and rubella) vaccine, one at 12-15 months and a second at 4-5 years. If your child has received 2 doses of MMR, the chance of him/her developing mumps is low. If, however, your child has not been fully vaccinated then there is a greater risk that he/she might get mumps.

What is Mumps?

  • Mumps is a viral infection.
  • Symptoms include fever, headache and swelling of the cheek and jaw.
  • Rare complications include meningitis (inflammation of the covering of the brain), encephalitis (inflammation of the brain), and deafness.
  • In males, mumps can cause inflammation of the testicles (orchitis) but, contrary to popular belief, it is not a frequent cause of infertility.
  • The mumps virus is spread from person to person by coughs and sneezes. It can also be spread through direct contact with saliva or discharges from the nose and throat.
  • People with mumps are infectious for up to 7 days before the cheek swelling appears and remain infectious for up to 5 days after symptoms develop.
  • Symptoms develop 12 to 25 days after exposure to a case of mumps.

What should I do now?

If your child has not received the 2 doses of MMR then you should bring them to your GP for vaccination. The vaccine may not protect them if they have been exposed this time but it will reduce their risk of getting mumps if they are exposed again.

What should I do if my child develops mumps?

  • Contact your GP who will be able to tell you if your child has mumps and will advise you what to do. There is no specific treatment for mumps.
  • Your child must stay at home for 5 days after the symptoms develop. They should also avoid any other social settings during this time.
  • Frequent hand washing, especially after contact with secretions from the nose or throat, will be very important for everyone in the family. Eating and drinking utensils should not be shared with someone who is sick with mumps.
  • Anyone in the family who was born after 1977 and who has never had mumps nor received 2 doses of the MMR vaccine should go to their family doctor to discuss vaccination.

Thank you for giving this your attention. Please bring this letter with you if you go to your GP for vaccination or advice.

Congratulations Fr. Connolly !

We send our warmest congratulations to Fr. Connolly who has been part of the St. Brigid’s school community since the the mid eighties. He was Chairperson on our board for many years and also doubled as a plumber and handyman when needed !

Today he celebrates 65 years as a priest .

Cross Country in Porterstown

Approximately fifty pupils from 3rd up went to Porterstown on Tuesday to take part in the second cross country meet of the Fingal League. Lots of points earned again on a cold sunny day. Thanks to Ms. Kelly and Ms. Gallagher for taking them.

Slapped Cheek

There is an unconfirmed case of slapped cheek syndrome  (sometimes called Fifth Disease)  in 3rd class. This condition is caused by the parvovirus B19 virus and your child may have been exposed. The following information is from the HSE.

What is “Slapped Cheek Syndrome”?

It is a mild rash illness that occurs most commonly in children. The ill child typically has a ‘slapped-cheek’ rash on the face and a lacy red rash on the trunk and limbs. Occasionally, the rash may itch. An ill child may feel unwell and have a low-grade fever or a ‘cold’ a few days before the rash breaks out. The child is usually not very ill, and the rash resolves in 7 to 10 days.

Can adults get parvovirus B19 infection?

Yes, they can. An adult who is not immune can be infected with parvovirus B19 and either have no symptoms or develop the typical rash of slapped cheek syndrome, joint pain or swelling, or both. The joint pain and swelling usually resolve in a week or two, but may last longer. However, most adults have previously been infected with parvovirus B19 and have developed life-long immunity to the virus and cannot become infected again.

Is parvovirus B19 infectious?

Yes. A person infected with parvovirus B19 is infectious during the early part of the illness, before the rash appears. By the time a child has the characteristic ‘slapped cheek’ rash he/she is probably no longer contagious.

How does someone get infected with parvovirus B19?

Parvovirus B19 has been found in the respiratory secretions (e.g. saliva, sputum, or nasal mucus) of infected persons before the onset of a rash, when they appear to “just have a cold”. The virus is probably spread from person to person by direct contact with those secretions, such as sharing cutlery, cups, and drinks, drinking glasses etc.

Is parvovirus B19 infection serious?

Parvovirus B19 is usually a mild illness that resolves on its own. Parvovirus B19 infection may cause a serious illness in persons with chronic red blood cell disorders (e.g. sickle cell anaemia or spherocytosis) or a weakened immune system. Rarely, serious complications may develop from parvovirus B19 infection during early pregnancy.

Can parvovirus B19 infection be prevented?

There is no vaccine or medicine that prevents parvovirus B19 infection. Frequent hand washing is recommended to decrease the chance of becoming infected. People should also avoid sharing cutlery, cups, drinks, drinking glasses etc.

Should children with parvovirus be excluded from school?

Excluding pupils with slapped cheek syndrome from school is not likely to prevent the spread of the virus. People are infectious before they develop the rash and it becomes clear that they have slapped cheek syndrome. Cases of slapped cheek syndrome in a school most commonly happen when the infection is spreading in the community.

I am pregnant and have been exposed to a child with parvovirus B19. What should I do?

You should contact your doctor, who may wish to do a blood test. Usually, there is no serious complication for a pregnant woman or her baby if exposed to a person with slapped cheek syndrome. Most women are already immune to parvovirus B19, and these women and their babies are protected from infection and illness. Even if a woman is susceptible and gets infected with parvovirus B19, she usually experiences only a mild illness. Likewise, her unborn baby usually does not develop any problems due to parvovirus B19 infection. However, sometimes parvovirus B19 infection may cause miscarriage or severe anaemia in the unborn baby. There is no evidence that parvovirus B19 infection causes birth defects or developmental delay

If you have any further concerns please contact your GP for advice.