School WILL BE OPEN on Monday January 4th
Firstly - Happy New Year's Eve! What a year 2020 has been! Let's hope that 2021 will be kinder to us all!
Secondly, you will have seen on the news and via our Parent Mail over the past few days, that the picture around schools re-opening has been announced and what that means for us at the Imperium Federation.
Just so we all understand what it means:
- Waterside and King's Oak schools will be OPEN as NORMAL on Monday January 4th. This is line with the guidance for Tier 4 and Tier 4+ (Contingency Framework - which covers schools in areas where the R number is extremely high). In both sets of guidance - specialist schools MUST open.
- Transport and catering have been informed that we are open as normal.
- We will continue to enforce FACE SPACE HANDS and VENTILATION across both schools - as we did in the Autumn term.
At King's Oak - like all secondary schools, we will be offering LFT (Lateral Flow Testing - rapid result in 30 minutes). This will involve your child taking a swab of their throat and nose and gives a result in 30 minutes. We know that this may feel uncomfortable but it is vital that we do all we can to ensure that our communities are safe.
So that the testing can be done on school property, you need to complete the online form (which has been sent to you via Parent Mail) giving permission for this to happen.
It is important to understand that even if you give permission to undergo testing, you/your child can decide not to test.
If you/your child chose not to test, that is your choice and we respect that. We will however, have to continue to follow the Government guidance with regards to infection control.
We will be taking part with the rest of our secondary colleagues in having medical staff coming in to support with this testing at King's Oak and further details will be sent to you when they have been received.
If your child tests positive with an LFT at King's Oak, they MUST go to a testing centre for the full PCR (Covid-19) test. Only the close contacts of that child / adult will need to undergo LFT for 7 days or self isolate for 10 days. By choosing the 7 day LFT option, means that your child is able to continue to come to school unless they test positive.
At Waterside, the LFT is not due to be released to primary schools until February. Until then, we will be encouraging staff - including peripatetic staff to undergo testing at one of the 3 community testing hubs. In fact, most staff across our schools have taken up the offer of testing over the weekend - which was also sent to you as parents via Parent Mail.
It is important to stress two points:
- NOTHING has changed at either school with regards to the requirement of FACE SPACE HANDS and VENTILATION and we will continue to follow our hygiene protocols as strictly as we did before Christmas
- Even if you have had COVID-19 before (tested positive etc), you are STILL ABLE to be re-infected with COVID-19. This will be the case even when we are vaccinated against the disease. You DO NOT become immune to it.
With all that said, we know that some of you will be anxious and concerned, especially as there is a lot of discussion as to why some areas are not sending in all their primary school children and will have heard about the high numbers of infection around us.
We feel as anxious as you and so completely understand.
However, we also know we have been brilliant and keeping this infection at bay, with as little disruption as possible to our children's learning and nothing has changed with how we will deal with it.
School is as safe as we can make it.
But, if you are feeling anxious and want to keep your child home, then we understand. If you can let us know (you have Jill's, Neal's and my email addresses), we can suspend transport (where needed) and start remote learning immediately. We can then work with you on returning your child and ensure you feel comfortable in doing so.
Lastly - on behalf of us all - can I take this opportunity to wish you a Happy New Year - let's hope that 2021 is kinder to us all, allows us to visit our friends and families and is safe for all concerned.
Meic and the Imperium Federation Team