Schools reopening during a pandemic was never going to be easy, but teachers, pupils and parents have met the challenge head-on.
As many schools welcomed back students for the first time this week, here's seven things we've learned.
Not every cough will be a Covid cough
Public health advice issued to schools this week reminds everyone that children will display symptoms of many other circulating respiratory viruses and that young children often have a persistent cold.
Children with a blocked or runny nose, but no fever, can attend school.
When it comes to coughing, the health experts say that a "new cough" could be a cause of concern. Other possible indicators include fever, shortness of breath and deterioration of an existing respiratory condition.
It's going to take time to build up energy levels
Teachers and principals across the board said students found their first day back tiring.
Due to the long period out of the classroom, it will take a while for pupils to build up their stamina and concentration levels. Marie-Thérèse Kilmartin, principal of Coláiste Bríde, Clondalkin in Dublin, said despite her first years only being in school for three hours, it took its toll.
"I could hear a lot of students at the end of the day talking about how tired they were. Students haven't been in the school routine for a while and will be tired, they will need time to build-up energy and stamina."
Large assemblies in school are a no-go
The week got off to a controversial start after 152 pupils gathered in a hall for assembly at St Leo's College, Carlow.
The Department of Education has since issued updated guidance stating schools should "avoid large gatherings including large full-school or year-group assemblies in one physical space".
Schools still need to get building works finished
Schools were in a race against the clock to get buildings fully ready for reopening as the Government's roadmap was only published on July 28. According to a survey by the Teachers' Union of Ireland (TUI), nearly half of schools (47pc) struggled to get contractors.
Seán Stack, principal of St Joseph's CBS, Fairview, said he is still awaiting the arrival of 150 new desks he ordered on the day the roadmap came out.
"This school was built in 1888, so the rooms weren't designed to hold 30 kids at one metre apart, but we're doing everything in line with guidelines, even though it does pose an enormous challenge.
"It was difficult getting builders and contractors. Works will be ongoing here over the next few weeks."
There is no blanket policy to test entire classes or years if a case is confirmed
A decision on knock-on testing of other pupils in a class, or year, will be based on the outcome of the confirmed case test and on information gleaned in the initial risk assessment.
The assessment will consider the likely source of the infection and the likely potential for onward transmission of the infection within the school population.
Public health chiefs will then decide whether widespread swabbing is necessary.
Masks are not ideal - but teachers and students are coping
Facemasks are now mandatory for all teaching staff and secondary school students.
Shane Hallahan, principal of Presentation Secondary School, Kilkenny, said despite the masks being an inconvenience, "you can still tell that the kids are smiling behind them".
Some schools are considering introducing name badges so students and teachers can more easily identify each other.
Parents are very happy their children are back to school
Fear of the unknown caused a lot of anxiety among parents, but with the first days down for some, there seems to be a lot more calm about the return to school.
"I'm just so happy I still got to get that memorable first-day experience with my child," one parent said.
STUDENTS and parents of a private grind school are reeling today after the school announced suddenly on Thursday evening that it has shut down with immediate effect.