MHS Covid update 2-12-2021
Before I start this update I’ll remind parents and carers that school is closed to students on Friday 3rd and Monday 6th December. We look forward to welcoming all students back with us on Tuesday 7th.
This update is dedicated to current and future covid plans in relation to recent national announcements, following news of the Omicron covid variant.
1) Face masks are now compulsory in all secondary schools in England. Obviously this is no change for us, but we will be encouraging students more than ever to wear ‘masks on the move’. Compliance is generally good around school and rates of student infection are not rising at the moment, but I would appreciate any support that parents and carers can give to ensuring non-exempt children take mask wearing seriously.
2) Ventilation remains our biggest weapon against infection. There have been some cold days recently and I know that this can be uncomfortable, but having visited many classrooms over the last few days most are warm enough and certainly so when students wear coats. Students are welcome to wear coats, school jumpers, white t-shirts under their shirts etc but hoodies and non-school jumpers will be confiscated as usual.
3) Staff absences. Over the past two weeks we have consistently had the highest level of staff absence compared to any point in the pandemic. This has significantly affected both teaching and support staff. We are confident of keeping going as normal and are grateful to the students for their patience when lessons are being covered. However, staff absence does seriously impact on the provision of live lessons on Teams. It is not possible for cover teachers to deliver live lessons whilst simultaneously catering for students in the classroom, and so I have to ask for some understanding when the usual full suite of hybrid lessons cannot be provided.
4) We have been asked to arrange for a full round of lateral flow testing in school before students return. Our initial plan is to conduct these tests on Monday 10th and Tuesday 11th January. This will mean that there will be a staggered start to the new school term as follows:
Monday 10th January:
Tests will take place for students in Year 11, 10 and for one half of Year 7. These students will come into school for the test at a given time and then return home. Teachers will deliver lessons on teams to all classes, years 7-11.
Tuesday 11th January:
Year 11 and 10 will be in school for face to face lessons
Years 9, 8 and the other half of 7 will come into school for their test and then return home. All classes in Years 9-7 will have live lessons on Teams for all subjects, including all of Year 7 regardless of when they have their test.
Wednesday 12th January
All students in school for face to face lessons
We believe that we may have to ask for renewed parental consent for these lateral flow tests. If so we will do this electronically via edulink.
5) Second vaccines
I have seen in the news that there is a chance that the over 12s will be offered a second vaccine in the spring, and a couple of parents have been in touch asking about this. All I can say here is that I have had no official communication about this at the moment.
6) End of term dates December 2021
There are no plans to alter the end of term dates this year, As it stands school will close to students at 12.20pm on Wednesday 22nd December.
That’s all for now! Please make a note of the plans for January above,