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Cork Independent


A new way of learning

Wednesday, 26th August, 2020 3:22pm

A Cork principal has said he has a certain amount of trepidation but is cautiously optimistic about getting students back to education as the new academic year begins.

Children, teenagers and staff started back to school this week with the added pressure of dealing with Covid-19 and schools having to modify classrooms and how students are educated. Staff at Nagle Community College (NCC) will today, Thursday, return to the school for a full day of training with management making them aware of all the rules and regulations. Staff will also be given a pack with wipes, visors, sanitisers as well as other items they will need to teach during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Students will also be given various items to protect themselves and clean their space and staff will make sure students are aware that this is for their own safety and protection with a drive towards creating individual responsibility.

First year students will be brought in on Friday with the rest of the school starting next week.

“The days each year will come back will be staggered. I’m facing into the new year with a certain amount of trepidation. Based on what we’ve physically done in the building,

“I’m cautiously optimistic that we’re going to get students back to education,” said NCC principal Jim O’ Sullivan about the new academic year.
One of the big changes for students is that those in secondary schools across the country will have to wear a face mask. Mr O’ Sullivan said this is something that the school will be taking a strong line on. 
He said: “Parents have been informed how crucial it is for students to wear the masks. Those that don’t will go through our disciplinary system. In most instances they cannot be in a school building unless they are wearing a mask. We are aware that it’s not an easy thing to do and there will be, what I’m calling air breaks outside so students can take the mask off.”
He also said that many students and staff will be nervous and anxious about coming back to school during the pandemic and that their wellbeing is crucial.
The school now also has two isolation rooms where a student or staff member can go to if they have Covid-19 symptoms. Mr O’ Sullivan said there will be the base class group which will be in the one room for the majority of the day except when students need to go to more specialised rooms like those equipped for woodwork, art and home economics, for example. Teachers will move between classrooms, except for those teaching in rooms designed for that subject who will stay in the one classroom. 
He added that procedures will change if they are not working. “We won’t really know how the daily running of the school will go until all students and staff are back. It’s an empty school at the moment and we will make changes where we have to as things could be different when everyone is back,” he concluded.

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