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How will schools be able to go back in September?

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  • Registered Users Posts: 1,326 ✭✭✭ Downlinz


    In theory if the lockdown is effective and we reach a testing scenario where people can receive same or next day results that we'll have very low case numbers and the problem areas will be easily identified and contained as people will still be practicing social distancing and not making unnecessary journeys across the country.

    It's reasonable to think some or all areas of the country could be designated as safe for small gatherings like schools but with extra measures of precaution like anyone showing cold symptoms to not go to school until they've been tested and maybe staggered break times to keep classes apart. Also on the basis that the school could shut in an area at any time if positive cases start spreading again so it'll be a really fluid situation.


    If the public aren't complicit with the guidelines and the lockdown slows the spread less than hoped to a point where we're still getting hundreds of cases each week then it would be very difficult to see schools reopening until a vaccine arrives.


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,211 ✭✭✭ Pete_Cavan


    Downlinz wrote: »
    If the public aren't complicit with the guidelines and the lockdown slows the spread less than hoped to a point where we're still getting hundreds of cases each week then it would be very difficult to see schools reopening until a vaccine arrives.

    A vaccine needs to be developed, tested for long term side effects, gain full regularitry approval, get mass produced and then administered to hundreds of millions of people. We can't just skip a whole school year. Even if schooling is done from home, it is not practical for many families to have their children at home for so long. Something is going to have to give.


  • Registered Users Posts: 15,524 ✭✭✭✭ rob316


    I just hope they reopen the special schools even, its been so hard on my son. Routine abruptly ended, hes just all over the place. Very small numbers in those classes so its manageable but i doubt the unions would allow some members work while others didn't.


  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 510 ✭✭✭ trapp


    Very difficult to know but September return far from certain.

    The effects of these closures lasting long into next school year will be devastating for vulnerable children and the thousands of children living in our disadvantaged communities all across Dublin, Limerick etc.

    Even in September they'll be nearly 6 months out of school.

    And it's not just an education issue, far from it.

    Many, many children rely on school for food and some sort of respite from chaotic, possibly violent, addiction ruined homes.

    The professors and doctors running the public health at the moment are doing really well but they don't know what it's like on the ground in our most disadvantaged communities.

    Schools will need to prepare staggered timetables, perhaps some of the pupils attend on a monday, others on a tuesday etc., staggered finishing times to allow for social distancing, social distancing in the classroom, one pupil per desk etc.

    There are ways around it but work will need to be done to prepare.

    I expect a January return for schools unfortunately.


  • Registered Users Posts: 255 ✭✭ DrSpongeBobz


    Dont know how colleges will open in September due to all ages being present and the 1000s of students.Cant practice social distancing due to the numbers in some of the classes.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 344 ✭✭ brookers


    trapp wrote: »
    Very difficult to know but September return far from certain.

    The effects of these closures lasting long into next school year will be devastating for vulnerable children and the thousands of children living in our disadvantaged communities all across Dublin, Limerick etc.

    Even in September they'll be nearly 6 months out of school.

    And it's not just an education issue, far from it.

    Many, many children rely on school for food and some sort of respite from chaotic, possibly violent, addiction ruined homes.

    The professors and doctors running the public health at the moment are doing really well but they don't know what it's like on the ground in our most disadvantaged communities.

    Schools will need to prepare staggered timetables, perhaps some of the pupils attend on a monday, others on a tuesday etc., staggered finishing times to allow for social distancing, social distancing in the classroom, one pupil per desk etc.

    There are ways around it but work will need to be done to prepare.

    I expect a January return for schools unfortunately.

    I am a parent with two primary school going children There is no way I would send either of them back until I felt it was ok to do so. I have discussed this with other parents and they all feel the same. I think september is too soon. Personally I believe that the Leaving Cert wont go ahead and parents and students will just have to live with that. Their subjects will be graded and hopefully their grades will get an added bonus of being elevated by at least two grades to make up for what is an extraordinary time and to be fair to those students who may be under stress, not able to study for internet reasons, homelessness, living in a hotel room, parents who have addictive problems etc The teaching unions have not agreed to any of this either.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,608 ✭✭✭ jrosen


    Initially the focus needed to be on the virus, to contain it, to stop it spreading too fast. But now the scales will start to tip and decisions will need to be made not only taking the virus and well being into consideration but also the economy and peoples lives.

    Schools will open in September. We could see some changes in how they operate but I think they will be open in some capacity .


  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 510 ✭✭✭ trapp


    brookers wrote: »
    I am a parent with two primary school going children There is no way I would send either of them back until I felt it was ok to do so. I have discussed this with other parents and they all feel the same. I think september is too soon. Personally I believe that the Leaving Cert wont go ahead and parents and students will just have to live with that. Their subjects will be graded and hopefully their grades will get an added bonus of being elevated by at least two grades to make up for what is an extraordinary time and to be fair to those students who may be under stress, not able to study for internet reasons, homelessness, living in a hotel room, parents who have addictive problems etc The teaching unions have not agreed to any of this either.

    I don't think we'll ever have 100% safe.

    Certainly not within two or three years anyway.

    Schools will hopefully reopen as our most disadvantaged children will need them.

    But they will be different places to now with a lot less activity.

    And like you said parents may well have the option to keep children at home and home school.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 3,962 ✭✭✭ Yosef Stocky Backspace


    Physical distancing is not possible in a school unless the student population is cut to one quarter the normal number at most. So either physical distancing is out the window by September, or schools reopening in full won't happen. Many schools in the Dublin area have already been operating on a knife edge in terms of adequate teacher numbers for the past two years. Bring cocooning of the vulnerable, and isolation due the virus into the mix, and it would be difficult to see many of them being able to maintain adequate supervision let alone teaching.

    Cleaning would also need to looked at seriously in schools. Schools are filthy. They are barely cleaned at all. The virus would spread like wildfire if it got in.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,608 ✭✭✭ jrosen


    Physical distancing is not possible in a school unless the student population is cut to one quarter the normal number at most. So either physical distancing is out the window by September, or schools reopening in full won't happen. Many schools in the Dublin area have already been operating on a knife edge in terms of adequate teacher numbers for the past two years. Bring cocooning of the vulnerable, and isolation due the virus into the mix, and it would be difficult to see many of them being able to maintain adequate supervision let alone teaching.

    Cleaning would also need to looked at seriously in schools. Schools are filthy. They are barely cleaned at all. The virus would spread like wildfire if it got in.

    I totally agree. Schools are not set up for any sort of social distancing. Many classrooms are packed with over 30 students in areas with large demands. If anything schools will need more teachers because I cant not fathom how one teacher is going to go back into the classroom with approx 28+ kids who have been out of the classroom for 6 months with vast differences in what they have been doing.


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  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 510 ✭✭✭ trapp


    Physical distancing is not possible in a school unless the student population is cut to one quarter the normal number at most. So either physical distancing is out the window by September, or schools reopening in full won't happen. Many schools in the Dublin area have already been operating on a knife edge in terms of adequate teacher numbers for the past two years. Bring cocooning of the vulnerable, and isolation due the virus into the mix, and it would be difficult to see many of them being able to maintain adequate supervision let alone teaching.

    Cleaning would also need to looked at seriously in schools. Schools are filthy. They are barely cleaned at all. The virus would spread like wildfire if it got in.

    Agree with all that.

    But we can't just forget educating the children of the country.

    I think we should aim for a January reopening, which gives plenty of time to organise social distancing, stagerred timetables and so on. Even 1 day a week per child is better than nothing.


  • Registered Users Posts: 144 ✭✭ LilyShame


    Denmark reopening all early years education this coming week.. Up to age 11. Basis is that these children need to most support from working parents and parents can't really remote work if they are home schooling and caring for their little ones. They are setting up guidelines for social distance practice including outdoors education. An outdoors summer school for children could be a solution. It's very concerning that children, no matter their age, would be without education for 6 months. Teachers will have double the work in bringing a group of 30 to the same level next autumn. Forget the summer hols this year for all of us...Get our children back to some type of educatio
    n...


  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Computer Games Moderators Posts: 8,126 CMod ✭✭✭✭ Sierra Oscar


    julie101 wrote: »
    Yes agreed. As they have played a long game and schools were first to close I am fairly sure they will be amongst last back and therefore September. They would be a breeding ground for Covid. No social distancing can happen in schools with young children so it would be using our children and their families as an experiment.

    The papers are full of commentary again today that the Government is planning to reopen some schools in the coming weeks.

    It’s clearly a plan that is in the works.
    It is hoped the current lockdown slows the virus to such an extent that will allow “space” for some restrictions to be eased – such as some pupils being allowed attend school on a limited basis – without risking a substantial rise in infections; if this happens, stricter measures will be reintroduced.

    Government will ease restrictions on trial basis when spread is curbed

    Don’t be surprised if schools remain open into the traditional summer holidays too.


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,324 ✭✭✭ Inviere


    rob316 wrote: »
    I just hope they reopen the special schools even, its been so hard on my son. Routine abruptly ended, hes just all over the place. Very small numbers in those classes so its manageable but i doubt the unions would allow some members work while others didn't.

    It's very difficult for students attending special schools, their whole routine has come crashing down & many don't understand what is going on and why they aren't in school. However, in many special schools, a large number of those students have underlying health conditions & I'm not sure they should be among the first to come back.


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,947 ✭✭✭ munsterlegend


    The papers are full of commentary again today that the Government is planning to reopen some schools in the coming weeks.

    It’s clearly a plan that is in the works.



    Government will ease restrictions on trial basis when spread is curbed

    Don’t be surprised if schools remain open into the traditional summer holidays too.

    Looks like they definitely want to open the schools. Will be interesting which classes they propose.


  • Registered Users Posts: 654 ✭✭✭ KevinK


    Inviere wrote: »
    It's very difficult for students attending special schools, their whole routine has come crashing down & many don't understand what is going on and why they aren't in school. However, in many special schools, a large number of those students have underlying health conditions & I'm not sure they should be among the first to come back.

    In many of the special classes I have worked in social distancing would be very hard to implement unless you have only one child per class.


  • Registered Users Posts: 825 ✭✭✭ The chan chan man


    shoppergal wrote: »
    Just wondering if anyone can give any insight into how schools could safely re-open in September?

    Everyone I'm talking to is saying they won't be back until September but in my head I'm wondering how they'll re-open even in September? The virus will still be there with a vaccine still months away at that stage.

    On one hand, they can’t open in sept if there is no mass produced vaccine, which there wont be. To open the schools then would mean all of this has been pointless.

    On the other hand, my view is we cant keep this up long term without this resulting in civil unrest/mental health issues/widespread unemployment etc. i know 4 people now who have had it (all under 60) and it hasnt even been that bad for them! The people dying had no more than 5-7 years left anyway at best! I know others over 80 who couldnt care less - they know something’s gonna get them sooner or later!

    As such, i would question if we should just move on with life and whatever happens happens... I’m not even sure if I agree with myself...but its a question the world needs to ask itself at some stage. And even if we do, again, this has all been in vain.


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,324 ✭✭✭ Inviere


    KevinK wrote: »
    In many of the special classes I have worked in social distancing would be very hard to implement unless you have only one child per class.

    Very much so. Couple that with the types of challenging behaviour which can occur in some special schools, ie, spitting, etc...such schools would be extremely difficult to maintain safety in (for other students AND staff)


  • Registered Users Posts: 285 ✭✭ cart man


    I suspect that crèches and the junior groups and preschools who need most parental supervision will be first back to get parents back to work. That and the Leaving certs will be the goals. Everything else is completely up in the air I think

    Many with a young family share the same wishful thinking.
    The reality is that they will be the last back. The younger kids would be the less disciplined at washing hands, using tissues etc, it would be a hot bed for transmission.


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,211 ✭✭✭ Pete_Cavan


    Despite the official figures, there is likely to be tens of thousands of people here who have/had it. By September, that is likely to be hundreds of thousands. The spread of the virus will have changed by then. The death rate will also have changed. You can't predict what will happen in September based on the current situation, things will be different then.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 12,531 ✭✭✭✭ average_runner


    julie101 wrote: »
    If they won't let leaving cert happen until late July or early August, with all the issues that throws up, you can put your money on no return for primary until September. In my opinion the governments nondisclosure of this yet is to keep the head on parents of those children.

    Primary schools are opening in Denmark


  • Registered Users Posts: 12,531 ✭✭✭✭ average_runner


    cart man wrote: »
    Many with a young family share the same wishful thinking.
    The reality is that they will be the last back. The younger kids would be the less disciplined at washing hands, using tissues etc, it would be a hot bed for transmission.

    First back in Denmark and Austria. If they pick it up it's easier to trace


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,967 ✭✭✭ ceadaoin.


    Pete_Cavan wrote: »
    Despite the official figures, there is likely to be tens of thousands of people here who have/had it. By September, that is likely to be hundreds of thousands. The spread of the virus will have changed by then. The death rate will also have changed. You can't predict what will happen in September based on the current situation, things will be different then.

    I predict it will be pretty much life as usual by September. You can quote this post if I'm completely wrong.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 6,751 ✭✭✭ mirrorwall14


    First back in Denmark and Austria. If they pick it up it's easier to trace

    This is my thinking. That age also have the biggest impact on parents ability to work and the aim should be to get as many working as possible


  • Registered Users Posts: 688 ✭✭✭ SnowyMuckish


    It’ll be interesting to see what impact it will have on Austria and Denmark. At least they’re trail blazing and we can learn from what happens there. If all but the LC is cancelled here, I can’t imagine they would open primary schools before September. Even if we are back, there are a lot of unanswered questions, how can children progress to the next class bracket without having completed the previous year? Even with the best will in the world, there will be those in disadvantaged situations who won’t have done any work in the time off. It’s going to be interesting.


  • Registered Users Posts: 12,531 ✭✭✭✭ average_runner


    It’ll be interesting to see what impact it will have on Austria and Denmark. At least they’re trail blazing and we can learn from what happens there. If all but the LC is cancelled here, I can’t imagine they would open primary schools before September. Even if we are back, there are a lot of unanswered questions, how can children progress to the next class bracket without having completed the previous year? Even with the best will in the world, there will be those in disadvantaged situations who won’t have done any work in the time off. It’s going to be interesting.

    My kids are un first class and third class. School has already told us their plans. Most of the year is completed by end of March. Anything they missed, they will do it in first month back.

    Also the kids are doing their daily homework at home


  • Registered Users Posts: 18,290 ✭✭✭✭ El_Duderino 09


    Probably by that stage we’ll need to start moving forward, with or without Covid 19.

    Maybe, maybe not. If they go ahead a o open schools, we will all have to accept there will be a spike in transmission and more people will die. Maybe people will be happy with that scenario by then.

    But let's be honest about it; without a vaccine, letting people out in 3/4/5/6 month will be exactly the same as letting them out right now. And maybe they will need to increase transmission rate because at the current rate of transom, it will take years, not months for every to get it. So the only way this thing can end within a year is if we get a vaccine, mass produce it and roll it out to the entire country or, just let everyone out assuming they will get it and accept that lots of people will die. Or else we just hubker down and it could take a few years for everyone to get it.

    I'm not advocating for either approach. I'm just saying they're the options and they take closer to a year than a couple of months.


  • Registered Users Posts: 33,897 ✭✭✭✭ Boggles


    They can aspire to open what they choose, that doesn't mean the populous will comply.

    Large amounts of people and business brought in measures and shutdown before the governance got the finger out.


  • Registered Users Posts: 8,843 ✭✭✭ irishgeo


    We dont need a vaccine to open schools. Maybe a drug will come out that will reduce the Corona symptoms to nothing more than a few days in bed.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 5,045 ✭✭✭ Vince135792003


    Most of the year is completed by end of March. Anything they missed, they will do it in first month back.

    I am a primary teacher. I think most will cope and catch up.

    However, there would be children in my class who would be very weak academically and would not be supported by their parents at home. I'd worry greatly about them moving on a year.

    An already big gap between them and their peers could have really widened in 6 months, if they haven't been doing any of the basics (literacy and numeracy) in that time.

    I would love it if schools were given the option to offer a minority of children the chance to repeat a year, subject to their parents agreement. Not that, that would be a perfect solution either but it's the vulnerable and weak children who will be impacted most by this.

    I also think, where possible, a primary teacher should continue on with the class they had. Time will be of the essence and the "getting to know you stage" in September when you have a new class is not really the best use of time in my mind. We need to hit the ground running and children need teachers who already know where each child is at academically, emotionally and socially.


This discussion has been closed.
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