‘Return To School’ Information
As St. Kevin’s re-opens, there are some small changes to our school building, our school practices and our school timetables.
While we have been working very hard through the summer to prepare the school building and to create new procedures to keep us all safe as we return, we would ask that you take the time to read our ‘Return to School’ plan as it contains some very important information.
We also know you will have lots of questions! So we hope these documents provides most of the answers. We hope this will help you and your child to feel comfortable about our new changes and to feel ready and confident as we return to school.
Of course, should you have any questions or queries that are not answered below, please don’t hesitate to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or give Orla a buzz in the office – thank you!
How will St. Kevin’s keep my child safe?
The school has been deep cleaned over the summer. All our staff have completed Covid-19 induction training before returning to work. Toys and resources will be cleaned regularly. We have clear procedures to ensure cleaning is thorough, especially in high-use areas like toilets and high-touch points like door handles, taps and classroom surfaces.
There will be hand sanitiser at every entrance/exit and in every classroom. Children and adults will wash or sanitise their hands when they arrive, after each break, before/after eating and after using the toilet. We are asking each pupil to bring their own hand towel too.
We will practice proper hand-washing techniques with children and teach and remind children to cover their cough or sneeze.
Older children will sit in ‘pods’ or small groups and there will be 1m distance between them. Younger children do not have to be physically distant from one another, but we will also use the ‘pod’ system to help us minimise interactions.
What time will my child start and finish school?
For the senior classes (3rd to 6th classes) there is a change to the timetable, please see our ‘Return to School’ Policy.
Arrival at school
Each group should aim to arrive at the school in the 20 minutes immediately preceding their start time
Group A – 8.30 – 8.50 (Junior Infants to 2nd Class)
Group B – 8.50 – 9.10 (3rd Class to 6th Class)
We ask for co-operation with these times as it will mean that the numbers congregating on school grounds at any one time will be minimised.
Each class should line up at their designated point/classroom door with social distancing observed and the class teacher will invite the children to enter the building at the appropriate time.
No adults, other than staff members, should enter the building.
Messages for teachers can be sent by email or by phoning the school office.
End of School Day
Junior Infants to 2nd Class – the class teacher will bring the children to their designated entrance/exit point and will release the children into the care of the adult who is there to collect them
Junior Infants and Second Class may be collected by parents waiting at the ‘Dare to Know’ wall in the Senior Yard.
Senior Infants and First Class can be collected from the grass verge in the Junior Yard. We ask that parents wear masks while on the yard at drop and collection times. Thank you.
3rd – 6th Class – the class teacher will allow each pod to leave the classroom separately in order to minimise contact
Are there changes to playtime/yard breaks in St. Kevin’s?
Each class will have their own play space. The children will play with the children in their class ‘bubble’ and they will not mix with other classes.
We will have two small breaks and two lunch breaks to help stagger the breaks evenly over the day for each class. There will be gaps between each break so that classes do not meet
What should my child wear to school?
Your child should wear their school uniform or school tracksuit each day. These should be washed on a high heat at least once a week. This is in line with current public health advice.
What if my child is sick?
Your child should stay at home if they are sick – no exceptions. You know how hard we work to keep our attendance rates high, but this year is different. We need children (and adults) to stay at home if they are unwell to keep everyone else safe. If your child has a high temperature, a new cough, breathing difficulties or loss of taste or smell – these are symptoms of Covid-19. You should contact your GP immediately and your child should not attend school.
What if my child gets sick at school?
If a child is unwell at school, we will call you straight away and ask you to collect them immediately. Your child will be brought to a safe designated area to wait until you arrive. Please make sure we have up-to-date emergency contact information for you so that we can get in touch quickly. If we call you, it is very important that you come to collect your child without delay.
What if a person at the school is diagnosed with Covid-19?
We will be doing everything we can to make sure this doesn’t happen. We will work very closely with the HSE if a person at school is diagnosed with Covid-19. The public health authorities will take the lead if there is a diagnosed case.
What will the classroom look like?
In the classroom, lots of things will look the same. Children will sit in small groups called ‘pods’. They will stay in their seats a little bit more than usual and will not share pencils or crayons with their friends. We will be wiping things down regularly, including copy and book covers, iPads, writing materials, etc.
What about Homework?
We will not be giving homework for the first few weeks. After that, your child’s teacher will let you know how homework will work in their class. It may be sending tasks home once a week, rather than every day to reduce the amount of books and copies coming into school each day.
This is very different to how we have operated in the past but our aim is for the school to stay
We also have to ask that parents and guardians do not enter the classroom at any stage – we know this is particularly difficult request for many of our new junior infants – and goes against such a tradition. All we can ask is that your child stays with you until they are ready and happy to enter the classroom – and then our teachers and SNAs will ensure your son or daughter is happy and safe in his or her new classroom.
Myself and our HSCL teacher will also be on the yard if you or your child have any questions – but please be mindful of others and the guidelines which we are abiding by, to ensure the school is a safe environment for everyone – thank you so much for your cooperation, particularly with respect to this point – it is difficult but I thank you in advance.
As we reopen the school we are going to find that some things work and some don’t and we will have to make the changes accordingly. We are going to have to be flexible and adaptable. But we look forward to a very successful and safe term!