COVID 19: Information and Protocols

Thank you all so much for your efforts in the lead up to Christmas. One of the key messages to manage the risks of COVID-19 is to do everything practical to avoid the introduction of COVID-19 into the school. If infection is not introduced it cannot be spread. The risk of spreading the infection once introduced exists in all interpersonal interactions; pupil-pupil, teacher-teacher and teacher- pupil and must be managed in all settings. A range of essential control measures have been implemented to reduce the risk of the spread of Covid-19 virus and to protect the safety, health and welfare of everyone in  our school community. The control measures shall continue to be reviewed and updated as required on an ongoing basis. It is critical that staff, pupils, parents and visitors are aware of, and adhere to, the control measures outlined and that they fully cooperate with all health and safety requirements.

It is essential that you read this page prior to your son/daughter returning to school. Some sections will require compulsory action in advance of them returning to school. If you need to leave your car in order for your child to exit the car please use the temporary car park to the rear of the school. We would kindly ask that parent(s)/guardian(s) wear a face covering when leaving the car.

Phased return to School

  • Junior Infants, Senior Infants, 1st Class and 2nd Class will return to school on Monday 1st March 2021.
  • The target date for a return to school 3rd Class, 4th Class, 5th Class and 6th Class is Monday 15th March 2021.

    Return to School Form

  • It is compulsory for each child complete a return to work form and take it to school when returning – Return to School Form

    Well-Being Resources for Parents

  • The following well-being resources for parent(s)/guardian(s) have been shared by the Department of Education – Resources

    Traffic Flow System Update

  • If you need to leave the car to help your child(ren) exit, please use the temporary car park at the rear of the school. Please also wear a face covering if you leave the car.
  • Under no circumstances should you leave your car to talk to others.

UPDATE: Essential Appointments

Essential Appointments (Doctors/Dentist/etc.) 

  • If your child needs to be picked up from school, you must complete the form below.
  • Pick up must take place between 9.30am & 12.30pm. We do not have the personnel to facilitate this after 12.30pm.
  • Follow the drive thru route to the window of the office to pick up your child. Please wait in your car.
  • Please do not return your child to school after an appointment. 

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Isolation Quick Guide

Please read the information contained in the link below carefully. It pertains to self-isolation and restricting movements for those aged greater than 3 months and up to 13th birthday.

Isolation Quick Guide

COVID19 Policy Statement 

St. Brigid’s National School is committed to providing a safe and healthy workplace for all our staff and a safe learning environment for all our pupils. To ensure that, we have developed the following COVID-19 Response Plan. The BOM and all school staff are responsible for the implementation of this plan and a combined effort will help contain the spread of the virus. We will: 

  • continue to monitor our COVID-19 response and amend this plan in consultation with our staff 
  • provide up to date information to our staff and pupils on the Public Health advice issued by the HSE and Gov.ie  
  • display information on the signs and symptoms of COVID-19 and correct hand-washing techniques  
  • agree with staff, a worker representative who is easily identifiable to carry out the role outlined in this plan  
  • inform all staff and pupils of essential hygiene and respiratory etiquette and physical distancing requirements 
  • adapt the school to facilitate physical distancing as appropriate in line with the guidance and direction of the Department of Education  
  • keep a contact log to help with contact tracing 
  • ensure staff engage with the induction / familiarisation briefing provided by the Department of Education 
  • implement the agreed procedures to be followed in the event of someone showing symptoms of COVID-19 while at school 
  • provide instructions for staff and pupils to follow if they develop signs and symptoms of COVID-19 during school time  
  • implement cleaning in line with Department of Education advice  

All school staff will be consulted on an ongoing basis and feedback is encouraged on any concerns, issues or suggestions.  

This can be done through the Lead Worker Representative(s), who will be supported in line with the agreement between the Department and education partners.  

 

Planning & Preparing for Returning to Work

  • Communication tools for the 2020/21 school year will be text message and email. Please ensure that the school is provided with up to date numbers and email accounts which are active and checked regularly.
  • An online pupil update form will be posted here during the week. It is compulsory to complete this form before your child(ren) return to school.
  • Induction Training will be completed by all staff employed by the Board of Management. Training is provided online by the Department of Education.
  • A Return to Work Form (RTW) will be completed and returned by all staff 3 days prior to returning to work.
  • The Department have criteria and procedures in place for staff and pupils who are very high risk and extremely vulnerable.
  • Lead Worker Representative: Ms. Leonard
  • Assistant Lead Worker Representative: Mr. Kerins
  • Signage is clearly visible throughout the school outlining the signs and symptoms of COVID-19 and to support good hand hygiene and respiratory hygiene.
  • First Aid, fire safety and accident procedures will be revised in line with new procedures.

Physical Distancing

Maintaining physical distance in the school is recommended as one of the key control measures.

  • All classrooms are reconfigured to ensure 1 metre distance between pupils in classes from 3rd to 6th.  1 metre social distancing is not a requirement for pupils from Junior Infants – 2nd class.  All pupils will be placed in pods inside their bubbles while indoors. Teacher desks will 2 metres from pupil desks.
  • Support classrooms are reconfigured to accommodate the above guidelines.
  • Children do not have to stay in their pods during outdoor break times- children will play in their class bubbles.
  • All classrooms have been decluttered and only have necessary furniture.
  • Classrooms will be well ventilated with doors and windows open as often as possible.

Note: A bubble refers to a classroom. A pod refers to a group of children within that classroom. 

Hand Hygiene

  • Routine hand hygiene will be practised. Hand washing will be scheduled at arrival at school, before eating and drinking, after using the toilet, after group work, after playing outdoors, after a pupil coughs/sneezes, if hands are visibly dirty.
  • We would greatly appreciate if you could prepare your child by explaining the need for regular hand washing at school.  This is the poster which will be displayed by the sink in every room – Washing your Hands.
  • Hand sanitiser units have been installed throughout the school and all classrooms have a minimum of 3 hand sanitiser units. This is the poster which will be displayed at all hand sanitising stations in the school – Sanitising your Hands
  • Antibacterial soap and paper towels are installed at every hand washing station.
  • All pupils are required to have a small packet of tissues in their school bag.

Coughing and Sneezing

  • Regularly familiare your child(ren) with cough etiquette. This is the poster which will be displayed in all classrooms – Coughing and Sneezing

PPE

  • There may be times during the school day when staff may be wearing visors.
  • Additional PPE of plastic aprons and gloves will be worn during the administration of first aid, intimate care and a suspected case of COVID-19.

Access to School

  • The school building will strictly be reserved for pupils and staff only.
  • All access will be restricted to the school. Arrangements for necessary meetings, emergency works and essential maintenance will be strictly by prior approval and appointment from the Principal. By strictly limiting the school’s footfall we are maximising our chances of avoiding the introduction of Covid-19 into our school community.
  • Authorised visitors will have their temperatures checked in reception on arrival to the school. All visitors will be required to complete a contract tracing log upon arrival, which will be securely stored in the school office. Visitors will be required to wear masks at all times.
  • Communication will be via phone and email. Please do not approach staff for a meeting on the school yard.
  • All messages to class teacher should be sent via email. Your teachers email address will be shared at the bottom of this page.
  • In so far as possible, money will be collected through the schools Way2Pay electronic system.
  • Please do not come to the school office with messages as refusal often offends.

Control Measures to minimise the risk of introducing COVID-19 to schools

  • Minimal access to school as above.
  • As per Department of Education and HSE guidelines:
    • Pupils and staff experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 must not attend school. They are advised to phone their GP and follow HSE guidance.
    • Pupils and staff who have been identified by the HSE as a contact person with COVID-19 must not attend school and are advised to follow the HSE advice on the restriction of movement.
    • Pupils and/or staff who develop symptoms of COVID-19 during the school day will be brought immediately to the isolation room (old school office). Immediate arrangements will be made for the pupil or staff member to go home.
  • Hand hygiene upon entry to the building is compulsory.
  • Physical distance of 2m between staff and visitors must be maintained at all times.
  • It is important that all members of our school community know the signs and symptoms of COVID-19.
  • Daily temperature checks will not be routine for children upon entry. We kindly request that Parents and Guardians check and monitor their child/children’s temperature each morning. Should a staff member feel concerned about a child or if a child becomes unwell during the day their temperature will be taken using an infrared forehead thermometer.
  • This is the poster which will be displayed on the door of each classroom to remind everyone of the symptoms and how to prevent the spread of Coronavirus COVID-19 – Symptoms and Prevention

Cleaning

  • An enhanced cleaning regime of the entire school will be completed every evening in line with the Department of Education guidelines with checklists and daily protocols compulsory. All tables, chairs, surface areas, handles, toilets and floors will be disinfected and washed every day.
  • Throughout the school day staff will maintain high standards of sanitising and cleaning routines.

Staff Parking

  • Staff will park at the front of the school to facilitate drop off and pick up.
  • Under no circumstances should parent(s)/guardian(s) park at the front of the school to drop off or pick up.

Morning Drop Off

  • Parents of children in STARS classes are permitted to use the car park. This also includes taxis for students in STARS classes.
  • Morning drop off will now take place between 9.15 and 9.30am. The school will not be accepting any children before 9.15am.
  • We have arranged a one-way drive through system to which all parents/guardians must abide.
  • Children will then walk into their classrooms via the entrances at the back of the school. Adult supervision will be in place in the morning to escort and supervise children as they enter the school.
  • Once you have offloaded your child(ren), you will then drive down the hill and exit through the main school gate.
  • The school bus will drop off children in the bus bay to the front of the school as normal. There will be a temporary delay to the traffic flow system during this period. Children will access the school via the new pedestrian path.

Evening Pick Up

  • A similar one-way drive through system will be in place for the collection of children from the school in the evenings.
  • Parent(s) drive up the lane at the side of the school.
  • Children will be organised into their family groups on what was the staff car park.
  • There will be four collection bays at the front of the school.
  • Staff will supervise and escort children from their allocated area to their car.
  • Once you have safely collected your child(ren), you will then drive down the hill and exit through the main school gate.
  • The school bus will pick up children in the bus bay to the front of the school as normal. There will be a temporary delay to the traffic flow system during this period. Children will be escorted to the bus by a member of staff.

School Bus/Taxis

  • Update to follow this week when we have spoken to bus inspector.

Entry and Exit

  • Each class bubble will have a designated entry and exit door. This is the only door the class will be permitted to use any time they enter or exit the school building.

Uniform

  • In accordance with the Department of Education and Health  guidelines, children must wear a clean school uniform to school each day. We appreciate the pressure this would place on parents to wash and dry children’s school uniforms every evening to be ready for the following morning.
  • The following arrangements have been put in place for all classes:
    • Monday – School Uniform
    • Tuesday – School Tracksuit
    • Wednesday – School Uniform
    • Thursday – School Tracksuit
    • Friday – School Uniform
  • This year there will be no set P.E. day. Instead, we encourage children to wear runners to school everyday to allow teachers to deliver increased movement opportunities as per Department of Education guidelines.
  • Please do not wear the same coat 2 days in a row.

Homework 

  • For the month of September, homework will not be assigned by classroom teachers. This is an attempt to reduce the possible spread of Covid-19 through the movement of books between school and home. It is planned to begin homework in October via Seesaw.
  • This matter will be reviewed at the end of September and is subject to change.

Pencil Cases

  • To reduce the possible spread of Covid-19 through the movement of materials between school and home, we ask that children do not bring pencil cases to school this year.
  • Instead, each child will have an individual stationary pot on their table. The pot and it’s contents will be provided by the classroom teacher.

Contents of School Bag

  • The only thing that should be in your child’s school bag is their lunch box and their drink.

Sanitiser 

  • The school will provide all hand washing and sanitising equipment. We ask that no child bring his/her own sanitiser to school.

Home/School Communication 

  • There will be no school journals this year. School requirement contribution will be re-diverted towards stationary pots, baskets and supplies.

Medication

  • If your son/daughter requires medication during the school day or has a condition that may require the administration of medicine during the school day, you should consult the ‘Administration of Medicines’ policy on our website. Please act accordingly.