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Derry school reopened today after recent spate of Covid-19 cases

Welcome return for pupils at St Joseph's

Derry school reopened today after recent spate of Covid-19 cases

Two year groups returned to St Joseph's this morning. Photos by Jim McCafferty Photography

A Derry school hit by a spate of Covid-19 cases reopened today sooner than expected.

Year 12 and Year 14 students returned to classes at St Joseph's Boys School, with the whole school re-opening again on Monday.

Last week, St Joseph's Boys School in Creggan informed pupils to stay at home for two weeks because of the number of positive Covid-19 cases reported within the school community.

The principal, Martina McCarron, informed parents that all teaching would be done online for the fortnight, with the school planning to reopen again on Monday, November 23.

This will now be brought forward a week with all returning on Monday, November 16.

Mrs McCarron said: "We had all year groups taught remotely since the closure. And though no canteen facilities will be available this week we are hoping all will be back to normal next week with a full canteen service available.

"Last week St Joseph`s, like many other schools, found ourselves in a difficult situation - desperate to remain open to all in our school community, but very mindful of our duty to consider the well-being and safety of everyone within that community.

"We reluctantly took the decision to move to remote learning last Friday but we immediately set about the dual tasks of ensuring on-line learning and teaching and kept our pupils fully engaged."

Relived to see the school operational again this morning, even if only for two of the year groups, the Creggan principal said she was delighted with the partial re-opening and looked forward to a full return on Monday morning.

"It is with great delight that the doors of St Joseph`s Boys opened for senior pupils again yesterday morning but the whole school community is firmly on our mind.

"We are invested in the education of all our pupils with a school ethos rooted in ‘Achievement For All’.

"However, the school's ethos is underpinned by three rules - ready, respect, and safe, with myself, the board of governors and senior teams' decision-making firmly focused on the safety of pupils and staff as we manage this ever challenging and ever-changing pandemic situation."

Ms. McCarron also acknowledged all staff, both teaching and non-teaching, who worked tirelessly in the background to sustain learning online and also EA and CCMS personnel who have supported the school back to face-to-face learning so quickly.

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