It is a “sporting” recovery. On this return Monday, Ronan Lessard leaves his large office on the ground floor of the old castle which houses the administration of the Saint-Charles school complex in Athis-Mons. This middle-distance enthusiast starts off the tour of his 17 classes.
“Happy New Year, good recovery, wear your masks well …” The headteacher calls for caution and checks that the scaffolding organization to compensate for teacher absences is functioning. “Some teachers had the good idea of catching the Covid at the start of the holidays, in order to get us back in shape at the start of the year, he quips. Others warned at the end of December that they were positive and could not be present for the start of the school year … “
→ REPORT. Covid-19, school principals on the verge of nervous breakdown
Three teachers have contracted Covid, another has the flu, one is in training. In the absence of being able to mobilize substitutes – “The fishpond is dry” – Ronan Lessard asked the school life staff to take care of their classes. While CE2 students watch, to wait, the film Paddington, Justine, in her twenties, photocopies the activities given by one of the sick teachers. This former florist, who usually supports kindergarten teachers, is exceptionally responsible for supervising calculation, grammar, moral and civic education activities on her own …
10% of absent students
“Shall we continue like this for two days?” The whole week ? “, asks the young woman. Difficult for Ronand Lessard to respond immediately. In his mailbox, the sick leaves mention 10 days of rest. Except that the new isolation rules, unveiled Sunday, January 2 in the afternoon, provide for teachers with a complete vaccination schedule a possible return after five days, with a negative test and an absence of symptoms for 48 hours.
Questions like this are legion when the management committee begins, where Ronan Lessard meets his colleagues from college, high school and higher education. All printed the 40 pages of frequently asked questions updated by the ministry.
→ PRACTICAL. Isolation, teleworking, school… What changes this Monday January 3 with the Omicron variant
In college, as in primary, 10% of students are absent. This leads to postponing the white patent initially planned for Tuesday and Wednesday by two weeks. It was also decided to postpone outings, to favor distance for meetings. Except for the reception of new parents, around thirty families to be distributed in an amphitheater with 415 places. The celebration of the Epiphany, for its part, will not take place, two pastoral leaders having caught the virus …
“We adapt, we readjust”
“Like everyone else, we stammer, we adapt, we readjust”, comments Patrick Lalague, the head of the school coordinating this large school complex (2,800 students). To measure the effects of the epidemic, it will probably take, according to him, a few days, the time for collective life to resume its rights. Among his fears, that of seeing an increase – there are already several – the absences of staff members forced, at the last minute, to keep their own children at home …
“Two more teachers’ absences would be enough for us to be forced to close classes”, sighs Ronan Lessard. For now, the head of the establishment relies successfully on the spirit of solidarity of his team. And is preparing to have to apply a new rule deemed “heavy” by many families: if a positive case occurs in a class, the other students will have to, in order to continue coming, produce a PCR or an antigen test negative on D + 0 but also a parental letter attesting on their honor that they have indeed carried out two negative self-tests on D + 2 and D + 4.