As you are no doubt aware, we have been doing everything we can to ensure the school remains fully open during the current challenging situation. Further to my letter dated Monday 16th November where I highlighted the situation in regard to the impact on our staffing, unfortunately we have now reached a tipping point where we have a significant number of absent staff (27 staff currently self-isolating and 5 staff shielding). This week we have just about managed to cover staff in school and will be OPEN tomorrow (Friday 20th) to Years 8, 9, 12 and 13. However, we do not have the capacity to operate this system next week. Therefore, as a result of our staff shortages, Mrs Linney-Drouet and I have made the difficult decision to close the school for one week only. This means the school will be closed on Monday 23rd November and will re-open to ALL students on Monday 30th November when self-isolating staff are due back in school.
I can assure you that this decision was not taken lightly but this is the only option to safeguard students and staff as it is not possible to continue to safely operate with this number of absent staff. We are informing you of this decision today as we wanted to provide you with as much notice as possible as we understand next week’s closure may have an impact on you and your family. However, I hope that you understand our need to adapt and be flexible to this situation. The wellbeing, health and safety of our students and our staff is our absolute priority, and we will continue to do everything possible to protect and support them.
All students will follow their usual timetable and be taught online by their teacher via Microsoft Teams. Each morning the school day will start with form time (8:30 am) with their form tutor and each lesson of the day will be registered. Please refer to our Home Learning information at the end of this letter. We will also continue to support students by monitoring completed work, providing feedback where possible and responding to email requests from parents/carers in order to maintain contact throughout the week. If your child is eligible for Free School Meals, you will receive an electronic Free School Meal voucher of £15 covering the entirety of next week.
I appreciate that there have been a number of communications to parents over the past week, but I feel it is important that you are kept up to date and well informed as this is a rapidly changing situation, both locally and nationally. I would like to thank all staff for the successful delivery of live teaching, particularly those members of staff who are currently self-isolating and looking after their own children at home. Their dedication and commitment to ensuring your child continues to receive their full timetable of lessons is a credit to us all. May I also take this opportunity to thank you for your continued support and positive feedback regarding the success of our virtual lessons currently taking place for Years 7, 10 and 11. Your comments are very much appreciated.
Information on how to access Microsoft Teams is available at www.cornwallisacademy.com/teams. At the start of each lesson your child will be invited to a meeting, once they press “Join” they will be in their virtual lesson. If your child does not know their Microsoft Teams login, please email firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line “CORNWALLIS PASSWORD”.
What to do if your child develops symptoms of COVID 19
If your child develops symptoms of COVID-19, they must not come to school and should remain at home for at least 10 days from the date when their symptoms appeared. Anyone with symptoms will be eligible for testing and this can be arranged via https://www.nhs.uk/ask-for-a-coronavirus-test or by calling 119.
We will keep in touch via email and the website (www.cornwallisacademy.com/coronavirus) with any updates as the situation develops. Please do look at our Social Media too. We wish you and your family well in the present situation. Thank you for your continued support.
Mrs McMahonHead of School