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Stay home order as outbreak of Covid-19 confirmed within Crossmaglen ‘school community’

Pupils from Years 8 to 10 at St Joseph's High have had all in-school classes suspended for the next 10 days and will be taught online after weekend developments

Pupils at a south Armagh secondary school have had their lessons suspended in the classroom after an outbreak of Covid-19.

Years 8, 9 and 1o at St Joseph’s High School in Crossmaglen have been affected.

An internal message sent to pupils via an app informed them that the decision had been taken to “suspend all in-school teaching for Years 8-10”.

The arrangement has been put in place for the next 10 days, during which pupils are to stay at home and complete lessons remotely, via Collaborative Ultra and Google Classroom.

The school has over 600 pupils on its rollbooks.

The immediate changes being introduced only apply to those in Years 8 to 10, who at this stage are being informed they will be due to return to school on Thursday, December 17.

The decision was taken “after careful consideration” and in conjunction with the chair of the Board of Governors of the school.

Presently the school has “a significant number of staff who are self-isolating”.

The outbreak among the “school community” has been confirmed in the message sent to the affected pupils and their parents and guardians.

It states: “We have had a number of positive Covid cases confirmed over the weekend within our school community.

“The school has been working diligently with the PHA (Public Health Agency) and EA (Education Authority) and a detailed contact tracing exercise has been carried out.

“Close contacts have been notified by the school and will receive a letter from the PHA in due course.”

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