Students across the county have been adjusting to yet another ‘new normal’ this week with the big return to school. Social distancing, hand hygiene, and staggered drop-offs are now part of the school day as staff and parents adapt to the new Covid-19 measures.
To find out how pupils and teachers are adapting, the Roscommon People – your community newspaper – made a visit to Threen National School, which reopened last Friday morning.
There was plenty of excitement as thirty-four students returned to the classroom for the first time since Covid-19 restrictions were imposed last March.
School principal, Áine O’Connor, was positive in her report to the Roscommon People earlier this week, praising her staff, students and their parents for a smooth transition back to the classroom setting.
“They have all settled in really well and everyone was delighted to be back,” she said.
Students were quick to notice a few new additions to the school building including hand sanitisation stations and new socially distant markings indicating where they should stand to await the start of the school day.
Áine added: “There has been constant communication between the school and parents, who have been really cooperative. It has been a very smooth transition.
“Everyone was understandably a bit anxious in the days before coming back but the first day went fine and we’ve had lots of complimentary emails and messages which is nice.
“There have been a number of small changes including the dots where children stand when lining up for school and of course the hand cleaning stations at the entrance and throughout the school.
“We are lucky here because we have smaller numbers and plenty of space. Students sit in their ‘pods’ one metre apart from each other in the classrooms and the yard has been divided up for break time between junior and senior classes. The children have been really good at hand cleaning and keeping their distance”.
The hard-working students of Threen National School certainly didn’t rest on their laurels during lockdown, remaining busy throughout thanks to the digital platform Seesaw. School work was completed and a virtual sports day and art competition bought keenly contested.
They were glad to be back in class this week, however, where they were warmly welcomed by school principal Áine and her staff, including Mary Collins, Olivia Blake and Mary Crehan who have every reason to be proud as they look forward to what will hopefully be a safe but busy academic year in Threen.