Covid 19 - Reopening Policy - Scoil Naomh Áine, Rathgarogue

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Covid 19 - Reopening Policy

Plans and Policies
Scoil Naomh Áine, Rathgarogue,

Back to school protocols and procedures: Information for parents

Following the guidelines issued by the Department of Education and Skills, we have devised this procedural document in
line with current advice.

Underlying Principles
● The school has a responsibility to make effort to ensure the safety, health and well-being of all members of our
school community – children, parents and staff. This plan has been formulated to better ensure that the school
can exercise that duty of care.
● Assuming it is in keeping with public health advice and guidelines issued by the Department of Education and
Skills, it is preferable for all children to return to school for all five days of the school week and for a full school
day. This plan has been formulated to achieve that aim.
● It is not possible to eliminate the risk of infection. However, with the co-operation of all members of our school
community, it is possible to minimise the risk of the virus being introduced to school and the consequent risk of
its spread.
● As well as co-operation, the flexibility and goodwill of all will be required to ensure the plan can be

● All children return to school and classes operate within a bubble system
● The school is implementing split arrival and dismissal times, which are based on family grouping to facilitate
parents in having only one time slot for dropping and collecting
● Within each class from 3 rd to 6 th, the children will be further divided into pods, with a minimum distance of 1
metre being maintained between pods in so far as is possible
● Hand sanitiser will be available at all entry points and in all classrooms and outside SET classrooms
In order to facilitate a safe return to school, parents are required to do the following:

❖ Adhere to the School COVID-19 Response Plan and the control measures outlined below
❖ Complete COVID-19 Induction Training as provided by the Department of Education (details to follow)
❖ Ensure your child is aware of, and using good hygiene and respiratory etiquette practices
❖ If your child has travelled abroad to a country not on the ‘green list’, they will be required to self-isolate
for 14 days after their return
❖ Keep their child at home and contact the GP promptly for further advice if your child or any member of
the household display any symptoms consistent with COVID-19 (or are awaiting results of the test). Also
seek advice from GP if you get communication that your child was in close contact with a confirmed case
of Covid19.

Symptoms include:
  • high temperature
  • cough
  • shortness of breath or breathing difficulties
  • loss of small, of taste or distortion of taste

NB Do not send your child to school if they have any symptoms of COVID-19 under any circumstances.

Control measures:
Social distancing:
● Due to contract tracing protocols, parents are asked not to enter the school grounds (except for parents of
Junior and Senior Infants at collection time)
● Parents are asked to remain at a 2M distance from all other adults while dropping or collecting children
● Parents must not congregate as a group outside the school
● If a child forgets any items, there will be a drop off box outside the main door. Please ring or email the school to
let us know you are dropping an item and we will ensure your child receives it
● If you wish to collect your child early, again please contact the school in advance and we will have your child
ready for collection
● Face to face meetings with staff will not be possible, so please communicate via phone or though the teachers

Class                  Teacher                              Room
Junior Infants      Ms. Dunne                            1
Senior Infants     Ms. Furlong                           2
1st Class             Ms. K. Murphy                      4
2nd Class            Ms Leacy                              5
3rd Class            Ms. Hanrahan                        9
4th Class            Ms. Lyng and Ms. Corcoran      7
5th Class            Ms Mitchell                             6
6th Class            Ms. Grace                               8

Special Education Teachers: Ms. Cleary and Mr. Holohan
Special Needs Assistants: Catherine Murphy, Jenny Leacy and Carol Bolger
For this year, in light of Covid 19, 3rd class will not be split.

Arrival and dismissal:
● Arrival times will be staggered and we will inform parents of their allocated drop off and pick up time
● Please adhere to your allocated time to help us avoid traffic congestion
● Junior Infant, Senior Infant, 1st and 2nd class pupils will enter and exit the school ground via the main school
gate. They will all go around to the back of the school and enter their classroom via the classroom Exit door.
● 3rd, 4th 5th and 6th class pupils will enter and exit the school via the lower school gate and walk up the path to
their classroom exit door.
● Pupils will enter the classroom, wash/sanitise their hands and sit in their assigned seat.
● Junior Infant and Senior Infant children will be collected from the basketball court at Infant collection time at
2:00pm. Please remember an umbrella if it is raining.
● At afternoon collection time for all other pupils, parents of younger children may wish to collect their child from
the gate, please maintain a 2M distance from others at all times
● Classes will operate in a pod and bubble system. Different class groupings will not mix with others.

Procedures in relation to classroom or pupils:
● A contact tracing log will be maintained in each classroom to log any visitor to the classroom
● All pupils will be provided with a small bottle of Hand Sanitizer for their own use. This bottle will remain in
● Foot pump sanitiser stations will be available at all classroom entry/exit doors and st SET rooms.
● Staff and pupils will use hand sanitiser/wash hands:
on arrival at school
before eating or drinking
after using the toilet
after playing/being outdoors
after coughing or sneezing
when hands are physically dirty (must be washed)
● Children in a class pod (group within the class) will be 1M from other pods to the greatest extent possible
● Special Education Teachers and SNAs have been allocated to specific classes to reduce the number of contacts
for all
● Children will remain in their class bubble (classroom grouping) at all times including playtime
● Sharing educational material between pods will be avoided
● At a minimum all classroom windows will be opened at all break times to aerate the rooms, so we expect at
these times classroom temperatures will be lower than normal so please ensure your child has an extra layer of
● Social physical contact will be avoided (handshakes, hugs etc)
● We will encourage pupils to avoid hand to mouth contact (such as putting pens/pencils in mouth)
● Play equipment used will only be equipment that can be cleaned or disinfected
● Pupils will receive a plastic storage box in which they can store their books, copies and hand sanitizer.
● Coat hangers will not be used. Pupils can put their coat in their bag while in school.
● Teachers will not assign any homework for the first two weeks in September.

Break times
Breaktimes will be staggered to facilitate social distancing as much as possible. Each classroom will have their own hard
surface play area and yard equipment box. Children are not expected to social distance on the yard from others in their
Junior Infants and Senior Infants will play on one half of the basketball court each. First class and 2nd/3rd will play on
the concrete area at the back of the school while both classroom groupings remain separate.

Class                              Break Time                    Lunch Time                      Play Area
Junior Infants                 10:50 - 11:05                12:35 - 1:00                     Top half of basketball court nearer the road
Senior Infants                10:50 - 11:05                 12:35 - 1:00                     Bottom half of the Basketball Court nearer the pitches
1st Class                       10:50 - 11:05                 12:35 - 1:00                     Top of concrete area nearer the basketball court
2nd Class                      10:50 - 11:05                 12:35 - 1:00                     Bottom of the concrete area
3rd Class                       11:10 - 11:25                 1:05 - 1:30                       Top half of basketball court nearer the road
4th Class                       11:10 - 11:25                 1:05 - 1:30                        Bottom half of the Basketball Court nearer the pitches
5th Class                       11:10 - 11:25                 1:05 - 1:30                        Top of concrete area nearer the basketball court
6th Class                       11:10 - 11:25                 1:05 - 1:30                        Bottom of the concrete area

The pitches will be available to play on as usual for those who wish.

Tracksuit Uniforms
There is no guidance or advice to say that school uniforms should be washed every day and this is probably not practical
for most families. However school uniforms should be washed at least once during the week.
As a school we strongly advise that children should wear their school uniforms or tracksuits only for school related
activities. Uniforms or tracksuits should be taken off straight after the child arrives home from school for the day. They
should not be worn in after-school facilities, shops, during after-school activities, etc.
If your child is unable to tie their shoelaces please ensure they wear runners with velcro fastenings.

Physical Education and P.E. Equipment
Physical Education lessons will take place outside when the weather allows. Teachers are encouraged to take additional
class breaks outside during the school day.

Teaching and Learning
As a staff, we are very aware that the children have been away from school since March 12th. We appreciate the time
and effort that went into Home Learning, and we recognise the challenges that Home Learning presented for all families.
Each child will be a different place in relation to his/her learning, and we wish to assure you that staff will take that into
consideration when planning for Teaching and Learning during the 2020/2021 school year.
The Department of Education and Skills has published Curriculum guidelines for us, and we ask you to trust our
experience and professional expertise as we work with all the children during the return to school. There will be a strong
focus on Wellbeing for the initial weeks as we return to school.

Classroom materials/resources:
Children must bring their own pens, pencils, colours, rubbers, etc., to school in their own pencil case to avoid the
sharing of equipment. It is further requested that all items have the child’s name on them for ease of identification
Art – Where possible pupils will have their own individual art and equipment supplies.
Electronics – Shared electronic devices such as tablets will be cleaned between uses.
Library Policy – Where practical pupils will have their own reading books. Books that are shared will be wiped with a
suitable household cleaning agent between uses or left for 72hours between shared usage. Pupils will be
encouraged to perform hand hygiene after using any shared item.
Shared Sports Equipment – We will minimise equipment sharing and clean shared equipment between uses by
different people.

Pupils with Special Educational Needs:
● For children with special educational needs (SEN) maintaining physical distancing in many instances will not be
practical or appropriate to implement. Parents/guardians of children with SEN must have a heightened
awareness of signs, symptoms or changes in baseline which suggests illness/COVID-19 infection and where
symptoms are present children should not attend school.
In keeping with our Special Education policy, special education support will be provided by a blended approach of
in-class support and withdrawal.
● Where a support teacher is working alongside a class teacher in a classroom, both teachers will be mindful of
maintaining social distance from one another.
● The tables and chairs in SET rooms will be wiped clean in between different groups attending

● PPE is only required in the following instances as per DES guidelines:
        • assisting with intimate care of pupils
        • administering first aid
        • if there is suspected case of covid 19
        • when in the presence of someone vulnerable or those living with someone in the very high risk category
● Face shields and masks have been provided to all staff for protection of both pupils and staff if the occasion

Cleaning and Hygiene
Scoil Naomh Áine will follow all guidelines in relation to cleaning and hygiene procedures.
● Before the school re-opens the school will be cleaned thoroughly.
● Hand hygiene will be promoted and encouraged, and parents/guardians are asked to support the
school in reinforcing this message.
● The school will be thoroughly cleaned everyday. Cleaning will focus on frequently touched surfaces - door
handles, desks, chairs/armrests, sink and toilet facilities. Cleaning checklists will be displayed in all classrooms.
● Foot pedal bins will be used in all classrooms and toilets
● A supply of gloves, masks, wipes, aprons, paper towels and other cleaning/hygiene products will be available in
each classroom.
● Lunchboxes must be washed at home daily and drink bottles filled with water from home.

Dealing with a suspected case of Covid-19
Pupils should not attend school if displaying any symptoms of Covid-19. If a pupil displays symptoms of Covid-19
while in the building, the following are the procedures will be implemented:
● Parents/guardians will be contacted immediately
● The child will be isolated in an area at least 2 metres away from the all other children
● A mask will be provided for the child presenting with symptoms. He/she should wear the mask if in a common
area with other people or while exiting the premises
● The child presenting with symptoms will be advised to cover their mouth and nose with the disposable tissue
provided when they cough or sneeze and to put the tissue in the waste bag provided
● Parents/guardians are asked to inform their GP by phone of the child’s symptoms. Public transport of any kind
should not be used
● If they are too unwell to go home or advice is required, the school will contact 999 or 112 and inform them that
the sick child is a Covid-19 suspect.
● Arrangements will be made for appropriate cleaning of the isolation area and work areas involved.
● A pupil must remain at home until they have no symptoms or have received the all-clear by their GP
The HSE will inform any staff/parents who have come into close contact with a diagnosed case via the contact tracing
process. The HSE will contact all relevant persons where a diagnosis of COVID-19 is made. The instructions of the HSE
should be followed.

Teacher Absence and Substitution:
In the event that a teacher is unable to attend school, every effort will be made to secure a substitute teacher for the
class. If a substitute teacher is not available, it is not appropriate for the class to be divided into groups and
accommodated in other classes. Where possible the Special Education Teacher allocated to that class may teach the
class. However in event that they are not available, it may not be possible for the class to attend on that day. If that is
the case, as much notice as possible will be given to parents .

Signed: The Board of Management

Appendix 1:
We will use as many entry points as possible to reduce contact between class groups. Children being collected who are
sick will be exiting through the main door.

Class Entry and exit point
Junior Infants Classroom 1 Entry/Exit Door at back of school
Senior Infants Classroom 2 Entry/Exit Door at back of school
1 st Class Classroom 4 Entry/Exit Door at back of school
2 nd Class Classroom 5 Entry/Exit door at back of school
3 rd Class Classroom 9 Entry/Exit Door at side of school
(Nearest the pitch)
4th Class Classroom 7 Entry/Exit door
(Second door from the road)
5 th Class Classroom 6 Entry/Exit Door at side of school
(Door nearest the road)
6 th Class Classroom 8 Entry/Exit Door at side of school
(Second door from the pitch)

Appendix 2
CleanRite Sanitiser (used in sanitising stations and pupil hand sanitiser bottles) CF Pharma
Sanitiser contains hypochlorous (Proven to kill Coronavirus)
Dermatologically tested and Hypoallergenic
Clinically proven surface disinfectant
Approved by the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency)
Recommended for long term use – non irritating / gentler on the skin / safe on all parts of the body
Suitable from birth
Safe for use on food

Proud Owners of
Health Promoting School  Flag, Active School's Flag
Digital Schools of Distinction Award
Green flag for Waste, Green flag for Water, Green flag for Energy, Green flag for Marine Conservation
5 Star GAA Flag
Discovery Primary Science and Maths award of Excellence
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