Newsletter August 14th – Returning to School

Newsletter to all Families.
12th August 2020.

Dear Parents,
Following on from the enforced closure of our school due to the Covid-19 lockdown, I am pleased to inform you that arrangements are ongoing to facilitate the reopening of our school for the beginning of the 2020-2021 school year. We thank you most sincerely for your patience, for your engagement with the school and for the many messages of support received during the closure. The following is the timetable for reopening the school: Wednesday August 26th: School opens for new Junior Infant pupils only. Junior Infants will attend from 9:15 am to 12:00 pm until Friday September 11th. From Monday September 14th they will remain in school until 1:55 p.m. Thursday August 27th: School opens for all other children as follows – Senior Infants (9:15 am to 1:55pm), 1st – 6th classes (9:15 am to 2:55 pm) Please note that the school Board of Management has worked with the school staff to facilitate a safe returnto school. All back to school arrangements are in line with the published advice from the Department of
Education and Skills and from the HSE/NPHET. As such, this will entail a number of disease control
measures being put in place. The main provisions are as follows:
1. Children will enter the school building through specific entrance points relevant to the location of their class. These points are illustrated on the attached school plan. The children will not be permitted to congregate at the main school entrance before the doors open at 8:50 am. This arrangement will remain in place for the duration of the emergency measures.
2. Hand sanitizing stations have been placed at all entrances to the school, in all classrooms, adjacent to SET classrooms/offices, at the school hall and in all commonly accessed areas of the school building.
3. Parents will not be permitted to access the classrooms at any time during the school day.
4. Should a pupil need to attend a medical/eye/dental appointment or should a parent wish to collect a pupil from school during the school day, they must phone the school in advance stating the time at which the pupil will be collected. The pupil will be taken from their classroom by a member of school staff and will await their parents arrival in the school reception area.
5. All parents must wear a mask/visor when entering the school building at any time.
6. Children will be arranged in classrooms as per DES (Department of Education and Skills) guidelines and recommendations as set out in the document, ‘Reopening our Schools – The Roadmap for the Full Return to School’
7. Social distancing will be encouraged in school in as much as possible.
8. Children, Teachers, SNAs and any other member of the school personnel displaying any symptoms consistent with Covid-19 should not come to school under any circumstances. These symptoms include any/all of the following:
i. High Temperature
ii. Shortness of breath
iii. Breathing difficulties
iv. Cough
v. Sore Throat
vi. Headache
vii. Lost or changed sense of taste or smell.
(As per HSE/NPHET/WHO guidance)

9. As a school we will be required to isolate any pupil displaying symptoms until they are taken home. We have a responsibility to all of our pupils and to all adults working in our school, to maintain the school as a Covid-19 free zone. Please do not take offence should your child be subjected to our isolation regime. Rest assured that in the event of this being necessary, it will be undertaken sensibly, sensitively and with a total absence of any fear factor. All actions taken are in the interests of keeping everybody in our school safe and well.
10. Parents must remain in cars at the beginning and end of the school day when dropping off or collecting pupils. In cases where parents are walking to school to collect children please remain outside, maintain social distancing and wear a mask/visor. Keep interactions with other parents to a minimum.
11. Please ensure that children are in time for school and are collected promptly at the end of the school day. It is not advisable for the children to be left in school until traffic eases as has become the norm in recent times.
12. Please ensure that hand washing, the frequent use of hand sanitisers and safe coughing/sneezing practices are strictly adhered to. The school will display HSE posters in order to highlight good practice and will emphasise good hygiene practices both as part of the formal curriculum and on an ongoing informal basis.
13. Where families have travelled overseas during the summer vacation, the school must be informed in writing on the official school form which will be issued to all families on our return to school.
14. All parents and others accessing the school will be required to sign a contact tracing form which must include an up to date valid telephone/mobile number. The school may call back the given number on occasion in order to authenticate the contact. Where incorrect or out of service numbers are provided, the school has an obligation to report this to Túsla, HSE or An Garda Siochána.
15. Other measures may be added as necessary as this is an evolving situation.
Please note that though the above measures may appear to be draconian or harsh in nature, these steps are taken to ensure that our school reopens on time and more importantly, remains open. The measures are not taken lightly and have at their very core the safety of our pupils, teachers and school personnel as being of paramount importance. We look forward to seeing everyone again and to welcome our children back to school for what will hopefully be a fruitful and productive school year. We thank you most sincerely in advance for your continued support and more importantly, your cooperation. It is only by working together that we can control and ultimately eradicate the spread of Covid-19. Should you have any questions, concerns or require further information please do not hesitate to contact the school either by telephone or by email. We will do our level best to address any issues in as much as possible.
Le gach Deá Mhéin
Kenneth Dennedy
On behalf of the staff and Board of Management of Scoil Íosa.
12th August 2020.
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