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Headteacher’s letter 14 December 2020

Dear Parents and Carers

Managing COVID-19 through the CHRISTMAS BREAK

The main purpose of my letter to you today is to set out what needs to happen if your son or daughter tests positive for COVID-19 during the Christmas break. This a complex matter and therefore I hope the following is clear.

Every school in the country is to remain contactable for six days after the end of their term so that they can assist with accurate contact tracing. This means that if your son or daughter tests positive for COVID-19 between Friday 18 December and Wednesday 23 December then we ask that you contact the school without delay using this link to a special Google Form.

In such an event, we will then identify the close contacts of that positive case before making contact with their parents and carers via email (In Touch) in the first instance. Should this occur, a close contact will be advised to self-isolate for up to 10 days. The precise duration of that self-isolation will be clearly set out in any communication we have with affected families.

If your son or daughter tests positive for COVID-19 between Thursday 24 December and Tuesday 5 January then you do still need to contact the school to notify us of the positive case, but there will be no contact tracing undertaken.

To make matters as simple as possible, we have devised a single means to provide us with information about positive cases. We ask that you use this Google Form and fill in each section carefully. If you have trouble with the Google Form then you may email me directly on [email protected]. My team and I can then ‘activate’ our track and trace procedures and contact families as necessary.

As far as the start of the 2021 term is concerned, your child should not return if they have tested positive and their period of self-isolation remains active. Nor should your children return if they display any of the COVID-19 symptoms.

Finally, your child should not return if they are awaiting the result of a COVID-19 test – even if they are asymptomatic and you do not believe or expect that they will return a positive result.

In summary:

  1. If your child tests positive at any point between Friday 18 December and Tuesday 5 January, then fill in this Google Form.
  2. If a student at CNS tests positive between Friday 18 and Wednesday 23 December then your son or daughter may be asked to self-isolate if they are shown to be a close contact.
  3. In January, your son or daughter must stay at home if (a) they are still within stated period of self-isolation, (b) they display any of the COVID-19 symptoms, (c) have recently tested positive or (d) they are awaiting a test result.

The very last thing any of us want is to contract the virus in the days running up to Christmas. In order for that risk to be minimised we repeat our basic messages:

  • Students must wear face coverings as they arrive and leave school, plus in all communal areas;
  • Students must socially distance as much as possible, whenever they can;
  • Hand sanitising and hand washing is vital, as is the safe disposal of tissues.

It is one last push before the Christmas break and between us, we hope to reach that point safely and securely.

And finally…

Staff will return for the new term on Monday 4 and Tuesday 5 January 2021. With the exception of Years 12 and 13, school reopens for students (in Years 7 to 11) on Wednesday 6 January 2021. Our sixth formers return on that Thursday.

It is tempting to try to use this final planned letter to you to sum up ‘the year that was’ 2020. The trouble with such a goal is that once I start I would not know where to end. Sometimes less is more, particularly after such an eventful and poignant year.

And so, Merry Christmas to you all and may we all enjoy great happiness, good fortune and health in 2021. Thank you from us, to all of you, for the huge community spirit that has got us through this time in our lives.

Yours faithfully
Mr Doherty
Headteacher

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