I know I only wrote to you on Sunday, but I am doing so again in order to provide further clarity, as it is amazing how quickly things change. As of this morning, we have closed a second Year 6 class bubble and, as one Year 1 class has returned, the other has had to isolate. This means we currently have four classes isolating as well as a number of individual children.
Due to the amount of questions, queries and uncertainty, I thought it best to share the following information.
The Challenge of Isolating
We understand that this is such a difficult situation for families. The issues that arise as a result of being told, at short notice, that your child must isolate for up to ten days, will be significant. Consequently, the stress this creates for the wider family may be high, for many reasons.
In school, we are responding as quickly as we can to the information that is being provided by parents and carers. As soon as we are informed of a positive case, we are tracking back to the last point of contact before identifying the length of time for isolation so that we can ensure our communication is correct. This morning, we have had to implement these processes for two classes, all before 8.30am – we know this is not ideal, but it is a quick as we can work.
Informing School of Testing or Positive Cases
It is essential that parents/carers inform school, as soon as possible, if their child has symptoms and is requiring a test or that they have tested positive.
During working hours, this is a simple as telephoning the school. However, at a weekend, or on an evening, this should be done, as it has always been, via the school website. By messaging this way, I am able to pick this information up from home and react more swiftly in order to give families the greatest possible notice.
The website post ‘Contacting School About Covid-19’ details how school be informed, which involves leaving a message in the Leave a Reply box.
Informing Children of their New Teacher for September
Today, we will be providing all children in school with a letter about their new teacher for next year. We will also provide this information via School Ping which means families will receive this even if their child is isolating or absent.
We know that children who are isolating over the next two weeks will be missing in-school activities that they were looking forward to, particularly Sports Week and the transition session with their teacher (Friday 9th July).
We will ensure that children will have the chance to be involved in both of these events, upon the classes return. Teachers will implement these sessions as part of their timetable as it is essential that children do not feel like they have missed out.
As I explained earlier, this is a very difficult time for families and our school community. We will do all we can to apply the agreed school systems, which are designed to keep everyone as safe as possible. Where there are any changes to these systems, we will inform families immediately.
I know that this whole situation will be frustrating for many of you. On one hand, there is the Government’s aim to remove restrictions whilst on the other hand the number of cases has never been higher in Gateshead schools. I can assure you that the whole staff team at Harlow Green share the same frustrations and concerns.
We are hugely grateful that families know that we are doing all we can to manage the school at this time. Considering the pressures people are under, I would also like to thank parents/carers for the way in which they have treated staff in a respectful manner whilst communicating with us, it has been immensely valued.
Mr M. Malik