Scoil an Spioriad Naoimh

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Response Plans and letters to Parents

Returning to School.

                  Returning To School.
It is the aim of the Board of Management and staff to safely re-open the school on September 1st based on current advice and guidance.   
Below please find relevant documents including updates to parents, the DES Covid Response Plan and our School Covid - 19 Policy Statement.


The DES Covid Response Plan

Our Covid - 19 Policy Statement


Letter to Parents of Senior Infants.

Letter to Parents regrding First Communion:

Rev. Tom Mangan P.P.
Donoughmore/Knockea/Roxboro Parish
Donoughmore
County Limerick
087 2348226
V94 V6T3

10/09/20
                                    Re: First Holy Communion Scoil Spioraid Naoimh
Dear Parents, boys and girls,
Hope this note finds you all well,
The celebration our First Holy Communion will be Saturday 26th September in Queen of Peace church Janesboro at 2pm. This church has a bigger capacity to take the number of children we have in the class but we can only have two parents with your child on the day.
The seating arrangements are being organised for each family.
On the Saturday we ask you to please arrive 15 minutes before we begin the ceremony. We will have our stewards to take you to your seats.
In light of the current public guidelines at the moment we have decided to have the First Confession for the children in the school according to their groupings in the classroom to minimise contact.
We appreciate your understanding at this time as we try to keep everyone safe, especially ahead of the Communion ceremony on the following Saturday. In line with public health advise, the use of face coverings is recommended for all adults on that day.
Fingers crossed and a few extra prayers please God we will get to celebrate this special day with your child.
Many thanks to Mr. Leahy and to our teachers for their continued assistance at all times and to especially wish them well in these current times.
Thanking you for your support and co-operation.
God bless,
Fr Tom





An Important Message For Parents from the Principal regarding GDPR and the Return to school.


7th September, 2020

Dear Parent/Guardian

I am writing to you to advise you of certain procedures that will apply if a pupil in our school tests positive for Covid-19. If that were to occur, the Public Health Department of the HSE will carry out a Public Health Risk Assessment and will decide on the appropriate actions to be taken. The school does not have a direct role in this decision-making process.  

The Public Health Risk Assessment may indicate that contact tracing is necessary. To facilitate this, the school may be asked to furnish the names and contact details of pupils (and their parents/guardians) who are close contacts of a confirmed case. If this information is requested by the Public Health Department of the HSE, the school will process the information in compliance with data protection laws*.The information will be given in a secure manner, only to named individuals and only the information necessary for the contact tracing will be given. It is the HSE and not the school, who will carry out any necessary contact tracing.

Yours Sincerely,
Donat Leahy.
Principal.



Below is a letter  from the Acting Chief Medical Offficer Dr. Ronan Glynn:
To parents and guardians of school children in Ireland,

I am very aware that many of you are worried about the reopening of schools and the associated risk of COVID-19 for your children. This concern is natural and is to be fully expected after a period of six months during which we have all had to adapt to the challenges posed by COVID-19.

The decision to reopen schools has not been taken lightly and has been based on guidance produced by international bodies including the World Health Organization (WHO) and the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC); scientific evidence regarding the risk of COVID-19 in school children and staff; the experience of other countries that have not closed, or have reopened, their schools; our own experience having reopened childcare settings and summer camps since June; and evidence regarding the importance of school for the overall health and wellbeing of children.

International evidence shows us that child-to-child and child-to-adult transmission of COVID-19 in schools is uncommon. In addition, our own experience to date in Ireland, and indeed that reported internationally, demonstrates that for the overwhelming majority of children who are diagnosed with COVID-19, their symptoms will be mild.

The importance of schools for the overall health and wellbeing of children cannot be overstated, and the risk of COVID-19 has been carefully weighed against the very real harm that can be caused by sustained school closures. Schools play a fundamental role in the social life of children; they are where children are educated, make friends, share interests, learn social skills like self-confidence and empathy, and participate in sport and cultural activities.

Of course, as we continue to navigate our way through this pandemic, there are no zero risk options for reopening schools or indeed any other environment; the aim, therefore, is to reopen in as safe a way as possible by ensuring that all appropriate public health measures such as physical distancing, hand washing and respiratory hygiene are implemented where appropriate.

Schools are at the heart of our communities and the best way to protect them is to keep the level of COVID-19 in the community low. As parents and guardians, you can play a key role in this, both through your own actions and through the influence that you have on your family and friends. If all of us continue to make small changes to the way we live, we can - together - starve this virus of opportunities to transmit.

While it is okay to send your child to school or childcare if they only have a runny nose or a sneeze, if you have any concerns that your child has symptoms of COVID-19 - fever, cough, shortness of breath, loss of taste or smell – then please keep them at home until you have spoken with your GP by phone. Lots more information is available at gov.ie/backtoschool and hse.ie.

There will be cases of COVID-19 among children over the coming days and weeks, as there have been throughout this pandemic to date. But when this happens our public health teams in the HSE will respond and liaise closely with the school involved and ensure that all necessary measures are taken to protect other students and school staff.

Finally, I want to take this opportunity to thank you for all you have done to keep your family and our communities safe over the past seven months. I also want to thank all teachers, principals and school staff who have worked so hard to ensure that our schools are ready to reopen – it is just one more example of the incredible solidarity that has defined the way in which people all across the country have come together to play their part in getting us through this pandemic.

Dr. Ronan Glynn, Acting Chief Medical Officer, Department of Health.

                                                                        Update   August 26th. 2020.
Dear Parent / Guardian, Staff Member,
The BoM and School Staff are looking forward to welcoming all our pupils and parents / guardians back to school for the 2020/2021 school year on Tuesday next, September the first.
We are following the guidelines to facilitate a safe re-opening.  It will take some time for all of us to get used to the “new circumstances” as we become familiar with the new routines and procedures designed to keep everyone safe and to prevent the spread of the virus.  There will, undoubtedly, be some unforeseen challenges and we will deal with these as they arise. The following are points to be noted.
• Please use the class time slot, allotted last week, to drop and collect your children to and from school. If there are two different time slots for brothers and sisters keep the children in the car until it is their turn.
• Staff will be wearing masks or visors. At present children do not have to wear masks but will be accommodated if they wish to do so.
• Visitors / parents will not be allowed into the school building unless on urgent business. Entry will require the approval of the principal.
• Staggered breaks and lunch times will apply. All class bubbles will have their own play area.
• All classrooms will have sanitisation points and hot water for washing hands.
• Children may wear uniforms and school tracksuits on alternate days. All start with uniform on the first day back.
• Under no circumstances should children be sent to school if they are sick, have a high temperature or display any Covid symptoms. It is advised you take your child’s temperature before sending them to school each day.
• As happened in the past if a child is sick or displaying symptoms parents will be called and asked to collect their child immediately.
• All after school activities have been suspended as, under Dept. of Ed. Rules class bubbles are not allowed to mix.
• Lunch boxes can come and go from school. If possible younger children need to bring lunches and drinks they can open themselves. All lunch related litter and food will return home in the lunch box.
• Do not send any money into school until requested to do so at a later date in September.
• There will be no homework for the first two weeks and this will then be reviewed.
• Posters will be displayed around the school to remind pupils about hand washing, social distancing and cough etiquette.
• If you feel your child is in a high risk category contact the school immediately please. See the following link https://www2.hse.ie/conditions/coronavirus/people-at-higher-risk.html#very-high-risk
• All future foreseeable appointments with teachers will be via telephone and can be made by ringing the school on 061 228041.
We would like to thank you for your co-operation in making preparations to date and look forward to working with you as we assist the children adapt to the necessary changes.  We are also conscious of the fact that our pupils have not been in school since March and that they are looking forward to coming back to school to meet their friends again.  We are aware that our new pupils are beginning a school year at a challenging time and have made plans to ensure that their arrival will be as free from stress as possible.
D. Leahy. (Principal)



Update August 20th


Dear Parents / Guardians.
It is intended that Scoil An Spioraid Naoimh will re-open for every child on Tuesday September the first. It is up to us all as a school community to work together to minimise the risk of Covid 19 infection in our school .Only essential personnel will be permitted to enter the school grounds and building. We are requesting  parents to ‘drop and go’ at the school gate to minimise congregation of people and to adhere to Social Distancing Guidelines.
We have decided to stagger arrival and dismissal times of all classes. We will be accepting specific classes, some at 8.50 a.m. and others at 9am. each morning, with children going directly to their classes.(see timetable below)  There will be no assembly of pupils/parents in the school yard under any circumstances. Every class will be assigned a door to enter and exit the school building at all times. These will be clearly displayed and staff will be on hand for the first few mornings to direct pupils to their classes.

Junior Infants
We extend a warm welcome to our new Junior infants. Junior Infants will be met on their first day inside the school gate by their teachers Ms Ryan and Miss Ní Mhurchu. In order to make transition easier for them on the first day the following procedures will apply for Juniors.

Tuesday Sept 1st.
Miss Ní Mhurchú – arrive at 9.30am – finish at 12 noon. – main door near school office
Miss Ryan       - arrive at 10am – finish at 12 noon.     – main door near school office.

From Tuesday Sept. 2nd.to Friday Sept. 12th.
Miss Ní Mhurchú – arrive at 8.50am – finish at 12 noon – main door
Ms. Ryan – arrive at 8.50am – finish at 12 noon. – main door.

From Monday Sept. 15th. onwards
Both infant classes to arrive at 8.50am and finish at 1.40pm.

These are the arrangements for all other classes  
Class Arrival time and Entrance Dismissal time and exit.
Seniors Infans- Ms Waldron 8.50am – main door. 1.40pm at top door
First – Mrs. O’ Regan 8.50am – main door 2.40pm at main door.
2nd. – Mrs O’Brien  9.00am – main door 2.50pm at main door
3rd. – Ms Dalton 9.00am – top door 2.50pm at top door.
3rd. / 4th. Mrs Moynihan 9.00am – own class door 2.50pm at own class door
4th. Mrs Lally 9.00am – top door 2.50pm at top door
5th. Ms. Mc Nulty 9.00am – top door 2.50pm at main door
5th. Mrs Stapleton 8.50am – door near car park 2.40pm – door near car park
6th. Mrs Kilby 8.50am – door near car park 2.40pm – door near car park
It is imperative that all classes conform to their arrival and dismissal times. Further details will be published on our website next week.
D. Leahy.
Principal.


Update August 12th


Dear Parent / Guardian, Staff Member,
RE: Physical Distancing and Safe School Attendance
We are currently working on upgrading our procedures and routines within the school to ensure that there is as much Physical Distancing as is possible in our building. We will apply physical distancing in a practical and sensible way, recognising that the learning environment cannot be dominated by a potentially counterproductive focus on this issue.
Physical Distancing will be achieved in two ways: -
Increasing Separation.  This will be achieved by re-configuring the classrooms to maximise physical distancing. Each class will be referred to as a bubble and we will ensure that there is as little contact as possible between children in different bubbles.  Within the bubbles, children will be organised into pods.  A pod is a group ofchildren (normally 6) who will sit together and who will stay in their pod while in the bubble, or classroom.  
Decreasing Interaction. This will be achieved by decreasing the potential for children from different bubbles to interact.  There will be marked routes for various bubbles to enter and exit the school and to access their classrooms.  Bubbles will have different mid-morning and lunch-time access to the playground.  We will make these routines enjoyable activities for the children, emphasising safety at all times.
While all children will be welcome back to school, we would remind parents that, where children are displaying colds, coughs or flu like symptoms, they should not be sent to school.  Children who display such symptoms in school will be isolated and parents asked to collect them from the school.
Children who have travelled from countries not on the Green List should not attend school during the 14-day self-isolation period
Further information on COVID-19 symptoms in children is available at: -
https://www2.hse.ie/conditions/coronavirus/if-your-child-has-symptoms.html
Teachers will make children aware of the proper hygiene procedures regarding hand washing and etiquette related to sneezing, coughing or spitting.  We would be grateful if you could also emphasise safe behaviour in this regard to your children at home as part of the preparation for returning to school.
Our aim remains to re-open the school in an orderly safe manner, while reassuring the children and making them feel comfortable, safe and relaxed with their friends in the new school environment.  This will be achieved by all of us working towards this common goal.

Regards,
Donat Leahy.
Principal.


Update August 12th.


Dear Parent / Guardian, Staff Member,
RE: Re-opening of Scoil An Spioraid Naoimh.
I hope you and your families are keeping well.
As you are aware, our school has now been closed since 12th March due to the COVID-19 situation.  We are now hoping to re-open our school safely, in line with current guidance and recommendations. Tuesday, September the first, is the date set for re-opening.
Re-opening the school safely will require the co-operation of all members of our School Community – BoM, School Leadership, Staff, Parents and Pupils. We will all be called on to play our part in ensuring that re-opening of the school is done in a safe manner which prevents the spread of the virus and allows the vital work of Teaching and Learning to proceed with as little disruption as possible.
We have been working on our plan for the safe reopening of the school for some weeks now and have published the DES COVID-19 Response Plan for the safe and sustainable reopening of Primary and Special Schools on our school website.  The Response Plan gives details of
• Physical preparation, signage, hand sanitiser stations,
• Advice, procedures and training for the safe return to working in the school for all school staff and pupils
• General and specific advice on how all pupils, staff, parents and visitors will prevent the spread of the virus
We have also published our COVID-19 Policy Statement on the school website. Our BoM will keep you informed as to the progress of our re-opening plans and provide you with the information required by you to play your part in safely re-opening the school.
We are really looking forward to welcoming our children back to school and will be doing all that we can to ensure that the return to school is a safe and enjoyable experience for the children. We will be in touch with you again before school re-opens.


Le meas

Eileen O’ Sullivan.    Donat Leahy.
Chairperson, Board of Management  Principal.



The following websites provide further information on COVID-19 and on government advice and recommendations regarding the re-opening of schools: -
• https://www.education.ie/en/covid-19/
• https://www2.hse.ie/coronavirus/
• https://www.gov.ie/en/campaigns/a128d-back-to-school/?referrer=http://www.gov.ie/backtoschool/


 
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