Students given warm welcome back at Lanesboro Community College

Jessica Thompson

Reporter:

Jessica Thompson

Email:

jessica.thompson@longfordleader.ie

Michael Lyons

Michael Lyons

While the main focus is on Leaving Cert students this week, there’s no forgetting the challenges local schools have faced when reopening their doors with new Covid-19 restrictions.

Lanesboro Community College Deputy Principal, Michael Lyons, has said that, while there were some difficulties, all staff members and students are delighted to be back in action.

“It’s great to have them back and great to see them again. They’ve grown so much,” said Mr Lyons.

“We’d be used to not seeing them for three months over the summer, but the school has been closed for six months and we hardly recognise some of them.”

The school is doing everything it can to ensure Covid-19 stays out of the facility and to protect its students and staff.

“Everyone is working together, they’re wearing masks and they’re social distancing,” said Mr Lyons.

“We had an induction week before we reopened, where we brought the students in in small groups to show them the one-way system and talk to them about hand hygiene.

“The staff have been working and training so they’d all be ready. We’ve been using ICT, Office 365 and Teams for remote learning so everyone has been learning all those new skills.”

Teachers will not be picking up homework for the forseeable future, so the students have been learning to use Microsoft Lens to take a photo of their homework and upload it so that teachers can view it and leave comments.

“That’s been extremely challenging because you have to have the technology and the equipment,” Mr Lyons continued.

“We’ve been trying to get the school to a place where if we have to have blended learning, we could do that. We’re preparing for all eventualities.

“All of the teachers were in over the summer to prepare their classrooms and a lot of time and effort has gone into this, but we’re all so happy to be teaching fact to face again.”