Please see St. Enda’s N.S. Covid-19 control measures and procedures below.
Pupils Return to School Parent Declaration Form
If your child has been absent for any reason please fill in the Pupil Return to School Declaration Form on the Aladdin App or download the form below and return to your child’s class teacher.
HSE Parent Information Page
The HSE has a dedicated Covid-19 information page for parents. It outlines the procedures to follow should your child have Covid-19 or other illness symptoms and what actions to take. Please visit the web page at https://www2.hse.ie/conditions/coronavirus/if-your-child-has-symptoms.html.
HSE Isolation Quick Guide
Please find the HSE Isolation Quick Guide below.
This guide is a quick reference point in making a decision for when it is appropriate for your child to return to a school setting.
Department of Education/HSE Guidelines available at https://www.gov.ie/en/campaigns/a128d-back-to-school/?referrer=http://www.gov.ie/backtoschool/
I hope you and your families are keeping well.
As you are aware, our school building has now been closed since 12th March due to the Covid-19 situation. We are now preparing to re-open our school safely on August 27th in line with current guidelines and recommendations.
We would like to thank you for your all co-operation to date and look forward to working with you as we support the children as they 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 we have made plans to ensure that their arrival will be as free from stress as possible.
We have been working on our plan for the safe reopening of the school for some weeks now. We have published the DES COVID-19 Response Plan for the safe and sustainable reopening of Primary and Special Schools on our school website. This 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 and; general and specific advice on how all pupils, staff, parents and visitors will prevent the spread of the virus.
Please be assured that we are following all these guidelines in the DES Response Plan. We have also published our COVID-19 Policy Statement and Covid-19 Response Plan on the school website.
Even with all these measures in place it is only with co-operation between home, school and the wider community that we can ensure that our school stays open. Parents may have some difficult decisions to make over the coming weeks. If a child displays any Covid like symptoms the HSE/Department of Education directive is that that child must remain at home.
In order to prevent the spread of Covid-19 it is important to know and recognise the symptoms.
- High temperature
- Shortness of breath or breathing difficulties
- Loss of smell, of taste, or distortion of taste
The challenge is that the Covid-19 symptoms are common symptoms for many other illnesses. In order to ensure that our school stays open if your child displays any of the above symptoms or is sick in general the school setting is not the place for them while families evaluate what the next steps are.
We are aware that this may be very challenging for families to make last minute arrangements for child care and balance work commitments, however the ability for the school to remain open will rest on these decisions.
It is by working together and supporting each other that we can ensure our school remains open.
If a child displays any Covid like symptoms or is sick while at school we will bring the child to the isolation area and immediately contact parents as per HSE/Department of Education protocols. We will be very conscious that this will need to be done in a child-friendly and caring manner.
In St. Enda’s N.S. we have undertaken significant work on the school to ensure we have prepared for the pupils’ safe return to school. This work includes: deep cleaning of the school, development of new arrival and home time procedures, signage, development of new yard arrangement and procedures, hand sanitising stations in each classroom and at entry and exit points, alterations to furniture in classrooms to maximise space among other measures.
We are aware that you may have many questions about the safe return of your child/ren to school so we are attaching a Q & A document which we hope will address many of the common questions. If you have any health concerns about your child returning to school please contact me via email to make an appointment. If there are any issues that you want to seek clarification over please email us at [email protected] and we will do our very best to address them.
As you are aware, we live in challenging circumstances which are evolving all the time so please be conscious that all our plans may have to be modified at any time based on the public health advice available. We will review our own protocols regularly and will keep you informed of any changes.
We are really looking forward to welcoming your child/ren back to school and we will be doing all that we can to ensure that the return to school is a safe and enjoyable experience for the children. Please read the attached document carefully and if there is anything we can clarify or help with please contact us.
In the meantime, keep safe and see you on the 27th.
St. Enda’s N.S. Frequently Asked Questions and Answers
Q: Are the start dates still the same?
A: Yes, we will be opening on August 27th.
Q: Will my child have to wear a face covering/PPE?
A: The Department of Education Covid-19 response plan for safe reopening of primary schools states that “It is not recommended that children attending primary school wear face coverings” https://www.gov.ie/en/publication/dd364-control-measures-covid-19-response-plan-for-safe-re-opening-of-primary-schools/#use-of-ppe-in-schools
Q: Will the teachers be wearing face covering/PPE?
A: All teachers will be wearing face coverings as recommended by Department guidelines.
Q: Do parents/adults in the school have to wear face coverings?
A: In order to work together and ensure our schools stay open all adults on the school property are expected to wear face coverings.
Q: What are the procedures for drop-off in the morning?
A: School will begin at the usual time of 9:10 for all pupils however there are changes to the drop off routine in order to comply with Department guidelines.
Pupils will no longer be allowed to congregate in the yard before school begins. The drop-off period is from 9:00 to 9:10. No pupil should be in the yard prior to 9:00.
When a pupil arrives at school they will have to go straight to their classroom, there will be no more lining up in the yard.
Each classroom (bubble) will use a separate entry and exit point in order to keep each bubble self-contained in as much as possible as outlined in Department guidelines.
Parents of Junior and Senior Infants will be permitted in the school yard however we would ask all other parents not to congregate in the school yard before or after school.
We would ask parents to discuss these new arrangements with their children prior to returning on the 27th.
Q: Which school doors will children use to enter and exit school?
A: To minimise interaction between class bubbles, pupils will enter and exit the school building through the door assigned to their class in the morning, evening and break times. The doors will have signs on them indicating which door each class should use.
5th and 6th class (Mr. Malone) will use the main school door by the office
5th and 4th class (Ms. Canavan) will use the double door at the front of the hall facing the garden
3rd and 2nd class (Ms. Carkill) will use the main door to the hall up the steps
1st class and Senior Infants (Ms. Colfer) will use the far down entrance to the school by the girls toilet block
Senior Infants and Junior Infants will use infants room door around the corner opposite the astro turf
(Junior and Senior Infant parents may line up with children maintaining social distancing protocols)
Q: Will teachers be in their own classroom at that stage (9.00 – 9.10)am?
A: For the beginning of the school year, while pupils get familiar with the new routines, teachers will be in their room to supervise pupils from 9:00am
Q: Will someone be in the yard as pupils arrive?
A: While pupils are getting used to their new entry and exit gates, we will have supervision on the yard from 9:00 as they arrive at school. We will also have signs to guide them to the correct gate and door.
Q: What are the procedures for after-school collection?
A: Teachers will escort their classes out of the school through their classroom allocated entry/exit point. Pupils will be lined up in their classroom bubbles at the front of the school with social distancing maintained between each classroom line and pupils will be collected from there.
Q: How will playtime on the yard work?
A: Each classroom bubble will have a specified playing area for break times, pupils will have to remain in their assigned play area.
Q: How will social distancing work in the school/classrooms?
Classroom = Bubble, Group of pupils within a classroom = Pod. e.g. 5th/6th class classroom is defined as a bubble. A group of pupils within that classroom e.g. 5th class, is defined as a pod.
A: Government guidelines state that from JI to 2nd class physical distancing of 1 metre ‘is not a prerequisite to reopening a primary school’.
In 3rd – 6th classrooms pupils will be seated in pods or groups. Each pod or group will be at least 1m apart.
The aim of this system within our school is that class grouping mix only with their own classroom from arrival at school in the morning until departure at the end of the school day. The Pods within those Class Bubbles is an additional measure, to limit the extent of close contact within the Class Bubble. To the greatest extent possible, pupils will consistently be in the same Class Bubbles although this will not be possible at all times.
Q: Should my child’s items be labelled?
Yes, all lunch boxes and bottles, school uniforms should be clearly labelled.
Pupils will not be able to refill water in school.
Q: Where will coats be stored?
A: In order to keep corridors as clutter free as possible pupils are asked to bring a plastic bag in which they can put their coat into on arrival in their classroom. This can then be stored in their school bag/at their place.
Q: What provisions are being made for regular cleaning of the school?
A: In preparation for the return to school, a deep clean has been carried out over the summer. All unnecessary ‘clutter’ has been removed. The school will be cleaned and disinfected at the end of every school day. Frequently touched areas such as door handles, light switches etc. will be cleaned and disinfected throughout the school day. HSE Guidelines for the cleaning of schools are being followed and cleaning protocols have been developed.
Q: What provisions are being made for hand sanitizing?
A: There are hand sanitizer dispensers at each entrance to the school and there are hand sanitizer dispensers in each classroom.
Q: Will handwashing routines be put in place in the classes?
A: Handwashing will be extremely important. Teachers will establish frequent handwashing routines with their pupils. Extra soap and paper towel dispensers have been added to each classroom.
Q: How will the use of school materials work?
Pupils will not be able to share personal stationary resources e.g. pencils, colours etc.
We would ask that all your child’s possessions are clearly marked with their name.
Cleaning protocols are in place for shared resources and essential learning material.
Q: What is the advice regarding children who are ill?
A: The clear public health advice is that a child who is ill must be kept at home. Is it by working together we will keep our school open and we would ask parents to be very vigilant in this regard. Should your child display any symptoms of COVID-19 such as a cough or breathlessness while at school, we will bring the child to the isolation area and immediately contact parents. We will be very conscious that this will need to be done in a child-friendly and caring manner.
Q: Does the school have an Isolation Room?
A: Yes, the isolation area for our school will be the access for all bathroom areas in the school hall.
Q: How will the school bus operate?
A: Bus Eireann is the authority responsible for all school transport issues and queries.
Q: What if my child is anxious about returning to school?
We are aware that some children might be worried about returning to school. Our focus at the beginning of the school year will be on well-being and settling children back into the school routine. If your child is finding it difficult to settle back into school, please let the class teacher know by making an appointment or arranging a call and we will do our very best to help.
Q: Can we meet the teacher/s if we need to discuss an issue?
A: As always, we will be happy to meet parents, but we would ask that you make an appointment through the school secretary, Lourda, so we can do so in line with public health guidelines. Contact:[email protected] or 065 707 4231.
In order to limit cross contamination visitors to the school are for essential purposes only. We have set up the Aladdin App in order to limit the need for parents to enter the school building for non essential purposes.
All money collections will be done though the e-payment facility of the Aladdin Connect App.
Pupil absences will be documented by parents through the Aladdin Connect Absences feature (Please do not send in notes as was our procedure in the past).
Notifications home/newsletters will now be sent through the ‘Notice’ feature of the App and via e-mail.
Permission slips will be submitted via the Aladdin Connect App.
Q: When will books through the Book Rental scheme be available?
A: The staff have put a huge amount of work into this scheme and will have the books ready for each child on their return to school. They will be set out in each classroom for each child on the first morning.
Relevant Information Websites:
The following websites provide further information on COVID-19 and on government advice and recommendations regarding the re-opening of schools:
Our Code of Behaviour Policy has been updated to reflect Covid-19 Control Measures