Covid-19 School Updates

18th September 2020

Our School Response Plan

Arrangements that are particular to Our Lady’s N.S. Nurney, Co. Carlow.

 Staff completed their Induction training in the school on Monday 24/08/2020 in accordance with www.gov.ie/ back to school.  All staff completed the return to work form. All subs to fill in CPSMA Self declaration form.

We appointed our  Lead Worker and Deputy Lead Worker Reps .

 L.W.R. Eileen Griffin,

 Deputy L.W.R. Julie Doran.

We are following the government guidelines with regards to school cleaning with particular emphasis on floors, door handles, table tops, chairs etc., see Cleaning schedule Appendix 1.

 As we have been given extra capitation funding for cleaning we have employed an extra cleaning staff member, Mary Phelan, who will work with Ciara Dermody, therefore increasing our cleaning hours from 7 hours to 14 hours per week.

Class room layouts have been changed and surplus furniture and books etc removed to allow for social distancing. Each class room bubble is divided into pods- please see Appendix 2.

An isolation unit has been created at the entrance to the storage room and required items e.g. Hand sanitizer and gloves are kept there for use if needed.

When dropping children off in the mornings, parents are requested to keep their children in their car until the bell rings to avoid congregating at the school gate. Once the bell rings pupils from the Junior Room come in first. They  can go straight to their classroom. The bell will ring a second time for Senior Room pupils.

 To avoid mixing of pods we have altered our break time schedules and introduced staggered breaks.  We have also changed our entrance and exit points.

Pupils from Junior Room enter through the main entrance and exit through the first door into the apple garden. Pupils from Senior Room enter the second door from the apple garden and exit through the fire exit door. All staff and pupils sanitize their hands on entry to the school. The break time schedules are changed and are as per Appendix 3.

If symptoms of Covid-19 show in pupils or staff we are following guidelines from HSE and DES. A document has been filled in Public Health Risk Assessment- see Appendix 4.

For the month of September we are not giving any homework to allow the pupils re-settle in to school life and adjust to the new arrangements re hand washing and sanitizing etc.  These will be a greater focus on SPHE, Wellbeing and Outdoor Activity.

A log book with contact numbers of all visitors to the school is kept at the main door on entry to the school building along with Contact Log Forms.

The necessary PPE has been purchased, with the PPE grant from DES, for the protection and safety of all and all staff members use it as required. In  addition all staff members wear face coverings as mandated.

17th September 2020

Dear Parents/Guardians, 

If your child/children has been absent from school (for any reason), please fill in the Return to Educational Facility Parental Declaration Form and submit the form by clicking the link below, by e-mail, or hand in a printed copy before or on the morning they return. Copies of the form will be posted to all families, or you may fill in the form online by clicking the following link: https://forms.gle/UAzEYmqLuwroQHKP7.

While the children are not using their journals, we will also send out the normal absence note forms to use to mark in the reason for their absences. These are to be returned to school with your child, as per attendance guidelines.

Thank you,

Martin Duffy

25th August 2020

Dear parents,

As a staff we met yesterday and have been putting some arrangements in place for the safety of all. It’s a new situation for us all in the school community but like others in society we will adapt. The health and safety of all is paramount. We ask all to please adhere to the following.

When dropping children off in the mornings please keep them in the car until bell rings so there’s no congregating on the yard. Allow junior room pupils in first. They may go straight to their room through the main entrance door. Remind them to sanitize hands on entering. I will ring the bell a second time for pupils from senior room. They enter through the side door at the apple garden. Staff will be here from 9am to allow access.

There will be different break times for the two classrooms and we will inform them of the times on Monday. This is to avoid the different age groups mixing as per government guidelines for reopening of schools.

There will be no homework for the month of September to allow for resetting and refocussing. Time will be spent reviewing aspects of their previous year’s curriculum and there will be a greater emphasis on well-being.

With regard to lunches, could each child ensure they have their own drink, spoon etc. as we are advised not to share utensils. Also please ask your child not to share or swop lunch items. I know this goes against everything we encourage re sharing is caring, but covid19 has turned everything on its head. Some schools are asking parents to use paper lunch bags instead of boxes to prevent any possible spread of covid and that might be something you would consider.

We are doubling up on school cleaning for the foreseeable future. All floors and toilets will be washed and table tops, door handles, chairs etc. will be cleaned each day. Mary Phelan will be working with Ciara this year and all cleaning guidelines from the HSE and Department of Education will be followed. I will keep you informed of any other changes.

This year if you need to see a teacher it will be by prior appointment only. Again this goes against everything that is unique and lovely about our school but it is outside our control. We will, please God or whoever is out there in your belief system, get through this.

We have an isolation area in situ should we have a case in school and hopefully that area will gather dust and not be used…. although I know Ciara and Mary won’t allow any dust!!!!

Take care. Keep safe everyone and mind your families and your health. We look forward to a safe return to school and a good year.

Martin Duffy
School Principal

Advice on Returning to School

Infants-2nd class Dept. advice
3rd-6th class Dept. advice

Independent newspaper advice article

https://www.independent.ie/irish-news/education/from-masks-to-covid-testing-13-things-parents-and-students-should-know-on-returning-to-school-39476624.html