Pupils may be back at school next Monday
Schoolchildren could be back at their desks by next Monday, it was revealed yesterday.
Deryn Lavell, the head of school at Saltus Grammar, said in a letter to parents and guardians: “We are currently waiting for Government confirmation for a full return to our campuses on Monday, May 10 but all indicators are that schools will be returning then.
“I will keep you informed if this changes.”
Schools were closed and remote learning introduced from April 12 as a precaution against Covid-19.
Ms Lavell added the school had been granted permission for its senior pupils to take their Advancement Placement exams on site, but with strict safety precautions.
She told parents: “With just one week to remain in our virtual learning model, I want to thank you for your patience and for working together with us over the past three weeks. We are almost there.”
Ms Lavell said that the health ministry had asked schools to take part in a voluntary Covid-19 screening programme.
She added that the programme will run this month and could be extend into June.
Ms Lavell said: “The health ministry has told us that by screening sections of the school population each week it will help identify if there is anyone who identifies as positive for Sars-Cov-2, including identifying persons who may be asymptomatic and have gone undetected.
“It also allows for health officials to quickly identify exposure risk and place the proper protocols needed to isolate individuals that have tested positive.”
She added: “Given the recent outbreak and disruption to on-campus learning, the private schools have agreed to participate.
“The health ministry has advised us that routine screening within the schools will help lessen the unpredictability of the virus on the island.
“In addition, screening will enable contact tracing to be more specific should there be a positive case identified.”
Ms Lavell said that the saliva PRC method would be used and that tests would be carried out by Molecular Diagnostic Laboratory staff at schools.
A total of 25 per cent of those who consent to tests will get the saliva test every week.
Children who take part will be tested once a month.
Ms Lavell added: “Parents and staff will only be contacted if there is a positive test result.
“The school will be notified if there is action to be taken with regards to contact tracing.”