Friday 23rd April
Some of you may have noticed that I have not been in school for the last two days. As you will have already heard, there was a positive test for COVID 19 in Rhumsaa school and unfortunately this was in my daughter’s class. As a precaution, all children and their families have been ordered to self isolate for 14 days and so I will be working from home for a little while.
Whilst I will be working from home, I have no doubt that the school will continue to run smoothly without me. If, whilst I am absent, you have any questions or queries please don’t hesitate to speak to any member of staff who will either deal with your query, or pass it on to me. If you would like to speak to me directly, I can still be contacted by e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org) or speak to Mrs Paterson in the office who will arrange for me to give you a ring.
Whilst the outbreak at Rhumsaa was unfortunate, we are now entering a stage of ‘living with Covid’ on the Isle of Man and should be prepared for small outbreaks from time to time. As a school, we will follow all advice given to us by DESC, Public Health and COMIN and in this new phase our responses in school will vary depending on the severity level.
Currently in school, whilst there are a small number of cases on the Island, we have implemented the following additional steps:-
We will avoid mixing classes inside whenever possible*.
We will not hold whole school assemblies inside.
We will increase ventilation in school as far as possible by opening windows in classrooms.
We will avoid sharing resources as far as possible e.g. pens, pencils, rulers etc.
When the weather allows it, we will ask children who have packed lunches to eat outside. This will give us more space in the dining room, so children who are eating a cooked lunch will have a little more space.
Swimming - Whilst there is virtually no risk from swimming (the virus lives for less than 30 seconds in the pool) there is a slightly higher risk posed by the bus journey as the buses are not currently sanitised between schools. We will therefore review swimming each Monday and make our decision based on the level of cases, along with consultation with other local schools and Public Health.
*Mixing of Classes - In order to function as a school, it is not possible to avoid children from different classes meeting and mixing for short periods of time e.g. in the toilets and, based on the current relatively low levels of cases, mixing outside is fine. Likewise, children eating lunch together from different classes is seen as a low risk activity as the vast majority spend less than 15 minutes doing so, which is seen as the critical length of time for close contact.
Adults in school - I would once again like to ask that Parents DO NOT come into school whilst we are at an increased level of alertness. Staff will be outside on the playground at the start of each day if you need to speak to them and can provide assistance with coats and bags if your child is unable to carry their own. Thank you to everybody for their support with this.
As a school we will review our response level and mitigation steps as often as appropriate and increase or decrease them as necessary. If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to ask.
Mr W Nelson