Letter to Parents/Carers – 5th February 2021
We have had a very fast moving few days this week since the First Minister (FM) made her announcements on Tuesday. As I am sure you know the FM gave details of a proposed phased return to schools from Mon 22nd Feb which will be confirmed on Tue 16th Feb. It is hoped that all school based Early Learning and Childcare (ELC), P1-P3 and a small number of S4-S6 pupils (who require to complete practical elements of their SQA courses) will return from the 22nd Feb. This is all dependent on the continued downward trend of the Covid 19 virus numbers in the community. The FM also mentioned an increase in numbers of children and young people with ASN may also return. As yet the government has not given any further guidance to local authorities as to the detail around the statement made about ASN schools so I am unable to expand on this further. Please be assured that as soon as I have any further detail, I will of course be sharing this with you all. In the meantime, we are busy planning for the proposed return of ELC and P1-P3 pupils and identifying S4-S6 pupils that require to complete practical elements of their SQA courses. Details of this will be shared with relevant families as soon as possible.
In the readiness for a phased return to school all staff within Orchard Brae have been offered the Covid 19 vaccine and have completed application forms this week. I know that some colleagues have already attended Teca and have received their vaccine. All staff in schools across the city are also being given access to twice weekly lateral flow testing. We expect the test kits to be arriving in school from Mon 8th Feb onwards. We are in the process of setting up the necessary facilities so that colleagues can be issued with the test kits and carry out the tests from home. These are two very significant moves with regard to ensuring the safety and wellbeing of pupils, their families and the staff team and I hope helps to reassure yourselves.
Covid 19 case numbers continue to improve in the NHS Grampian area which covers Aberdeen City, Aberdeenshire and Moray. Both City and Shire numbers are now below 100 cases per 100 000 and Moray is not far behind. Colleagues from Health Protection Scotland continue to stress the need for us all to be careful and stay within the guidance set out by the Government which is to remain at home unless our journey is absolutely essential. NHS Grampian continue to be one of the best performing Scottish Health Boards with regards to Vaccine roll out which is very encouraging to know.
I recognise how hard a second lockdown has been for our whole school community, especially for you as families supporting your children at home. However, we do now have some very positive steps towards the return to school for pupils and the continued roll out of the vaccine. We are all working hard to follow the guidance set out by the government which we can see is beginning to have a positive affect and is starting to reduce the levels of the Covid 19 virus in the community.
The Scottish Government issued guidance this week specific to our setting and which has been very welcomed. I am pleased to say that we already had in place all the necessary steps that were detailed in the guidance. Attached to the guidance was a link to online resources for parents and families which I have placed below.
Here’s hoping the wild weather settles soon. Please do not hesitate to contact school with any questions you may have. Take care everyone.