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Covid Response Plan     ( Revised August 2021)

 

Presentation Convent N.S.,
Castlecomer,
Co. Kilkenny.

R95 C795
 

Tel: 056 - 4441426
Email: prescomer@gmail.com
Web: www.presentationcastlecomer.com

 

REVISED COVID RESPONSE PLAN  

 

August 2021

 

The full Covid-19 Response Plan for the Safe and Sustainable Reopening of Primary and Special Schools is available here https://www.gov.ie/en/publication/a0bff-reopening-our-primary-and-special-schools/  

 

This is a living document and may be reviewed and amended to take into account new guidance from www.Gov.ie, www.dbei.ie , www.hse.ie, www.hpsc.ie, www.hsa.ie; www.education.ie or agreements with education partners as appropriate for primary and special schools. The risk of infection may be reduced by structuring pupils and their teachers into Class Bubbles (i.e. a class grouping which stays apart from other classes as much as possible) and discrete groups or “Pods” within those class bubbles, to the extent that this is practical.

 

Overview

 

As a staff we recognise that ;

 

Each child will be in a different place in relation to his/her learning, and we assure you that staff will take this into consideration when planning for Teaching and Learning during the 2021/2022 school year.

 

The Department of Education and Skills has published Curriculum guidelines for us, and we ask you to trust our experience and professional expertise as we work with all the children during the return to school.

 

Our school was built in 1965 and we have done as much as possible to increase separation and decrease interaction of large groups within our school. To this end extra furniture and resources were removed from the classrooms to allow for increased separation. Each classroom is now called a bubble and inside each bubble there are smaller groups called pods. Each pod is seated a metre away from each other in Junior Infants up to Second class.First and Second class will now be based in a newly formed larger classroom upstairs after summer works converting rooms 7 and 8 into one classroom.

 In Third to Sixth class each pod is also a metre from the next but we have endeavoured to keep each pupil 1 metre from each other also. Fifth and Sixth classes will now be based in the newly formed large classroom upstairs ,as a result of 2 small classrooms being made into one since Dec 2020..A risk assessment was carried out to determine how best to minimise the threat of Covid to our school .

As a result the following decisions were made ;

 

Signage has been put up around the school to remind all the school community of proper hand hygiene, cough and sneeze etiquette and social distancing. Floor stickers have also been used to show the new walk on the left rule and appointed waiting spots at bathroom entrances.

 

 

 

 

  • We will continue to use the touch free sanitizers outside every classroom.

  • We will continue to follow the bathroom timetable as we have communal bathrooms at the end of each corridor. The bubble will be escorted by their teacher and once all cubicles are full they will be operated in a one in, one out manner.  Once a class group finishes the teacher will spray sanitizing spray on all areas where hygiene bags were placed.

  • Cleanrite sanitizer with a vaporising spray will be used daily by all teachers to clean toys /equipment used during class time. Tablets and laptops will be wiped down with sanitizing wipes.

  • We ask all parents to respect social distancing outside the school and to wear face masks.

  • No parent will be allowed enter the school. Parents can contact the school via email or by leaving a phone message.

  • A large plastic covered box will be left on step outside, side door and any forgotten lunches/coats can be dropped in with the child's name attached.

  • Any adult who enters the building to work or by appointment will fill in the contact tracing log at the front door beneath the STOP, SANITIZE, SIGN poster.

 

Morning Drop Off

Yard gate Entrance

Junior Infants, Senior Infants, First and Second classes will enter the yard via the yard gate and be directed to their designated area.

We ask that First and Second enter yard at 8.50am and senior infants enter at 9.00am.

Junior infants will begin at 9.30am on Wednesday  Sept 1st and at 9.00am from Sept 2nd.

 

Alley Gate entrance

Third, Fourth, Fifth and Sixth classes will enter the school via the Alley way gate and be lead to their designated play areas.

Third and Fourth should enter at 8.50am and Fifth and Sixth at 9.00am.

When the bell rings all children will stand on painted spots that are 1m apart in their own areas. The teachers will lead each class in, in a calm orderly fashion with walking on the left being the new rule for walking inside the building.

 

 

 

 

 

Entering and exiting the School Building

Junior infants will enter the school via the front side entrance and go straight to their classroom with their teacher.

Senior infants will enter the building via the gym room door and exit via this door at play times.

First and Second class will enter via the front side entrance, leave only their coats in the cloakroom and go with all bags and lunch boxes to their classroom.

Third and Fourth class will enter the building via the emergency door and use the back stairs to get to their room. They will use this door at all break times and when leaving in the evening.

Fifth and sixth class will enter the building via the emergency door once Third and Fourth classes have passed through

 

Afternoon Pick-up

Front gate

Junior Infants will be going home at 1.40pm.

They will exit via the school front door and wait inside the railing with their teacher until their collector comes to the gate for them.

Yard Gate

Senior Infants go home at 1.50pm and will be lead out of the front side door by their teacher. They will be dismissed one by one from gate once collector is in view.

First and Second classes will be leaving the yard at 2.40pm via the front side door. They will be directed to walk down towards the library where their parents will be waiting to collect them.

Alleyway gate

Third and Fourth classes will leave via the Alleyway at 2.40pm. Parents who are waiting for/meeting these children are asked to do so on the footpath opposite school, keeping social distance in the direction of town.

Fifth and Sixth classes will leave via the Alleyway at 2.50pm. Parents waiting for/meeting these children are asked to do so on footpath opposite school queuing in the direction of the church.

Older classes will be allowed walk to their parents car if they are waiting at a designated spot up or down town in view of the school.

We ask all families to respect all other people and social distancing rules.

All adults coming to school must wear a facemask once out of their car.

 

 

 

 

Play Times

The yard has been separated into 5 separate play areas: one for each classroom (now called Bubble).

Junior infants will play on the right hand half of the old yard.

Senior infants will play on the left hand side of the old yard.

First/Second will play in the hopscotch area on the far side of the gym.

Third/Fourth will play in the basketball area on the left of new yard

Fifth/Sixth will play in the basketball area at end of new yard.

Pathways have been marked around all areas for ease of access.

Spots have been painted on the ground in each area so that when the bell rings at end of play times children can assemble 1m apart in their area to be lead in by their teacher once access route is clear.

 

Break times

At first break children will bring their snack with them and follow their teacher to their designated play area.

They will only be allowed to play inside this area with the other children from their room (Bubble).

At Lunch time children will be allowed to eat their lunch at their place in the classroom from 12.20pm.

From 12.35 onwards, teachers will lead their bubble out to their designated area.

Each class has a specific set of P.E. equipment which will be used by their class only in their area. If the P.E. item, leaves their area it is left for the teacher to collect later. These are kept in each classroom and each teacher will sanitize their own equipment each evening

On wet days the pupils will remain in their classroom and be assigned specific games/activities to their pods.

 

Lunch Time

All lunch boxes, containers and bottles must be easily opened by your child. Healthy lunches are more important than ever. Have all fruit and vegetables peeled and/or chopped. Only send yogurts if your child can open them and ensure they have their own spoon.

Children will be keeping their lunch boxes at their desks and lunch boxes will no longer be stored on a communal table or press.

 Ventilation

Every morning each teacher will open all windows in their classroom before the pupils enter .When the children are in class the windows will be left partially open or every second window may be closed to maintain some heat and comfort in the room during cold weather. When the children go out of the classroom for breaks or toilet breaks all windows are again opened to refresh the air in the room. Classroom doors will be left open when possible and corridor windows which ae not directly over a radiator will be opened to create a cross draft from classrooms as well as ventilation in corridors. Again in the evenings all classroom windows will be opened for at least 15 minutes once pupils have left. In September 2021 we are expecting a delivery of CO2 monitors.These will be used regularly to check that ventilation is adequate in each classroom.

Homework

There  will be no written homework  for 2 weeks.

Children will take copies/books/folders etc. home each Monday for completion of homework. These will be returned on Thursday’s and an alternative set will be used the following week to allow for correction after decontamination time.

 

 

School bags and supplies

All children will bring home their lunch boxes and hygiene bags every day.

All school bags are to be free from keyrings and/or toys .All toys and gadgets are to be left at home to minimise the possible spread of infection between  households.

Infants and First and Second classes will leave their school bags in school and only bring home their lunch boxes and hygiene bags every day.

Infants will be given individual packs with pencils, colours and eraser to use in school. They will need to have another supply of these at home. They will also be given an individual small bag which will contain a child safe scissors, paint brush and glue stick.

 

First /Second classes will leave their pencil cases in school and will need to have another pencil case at home. Please send plain wipeable pencil cases to school and remove all keyrings and fluffy toys from school bags.

Third/Fourth/Fifth/Sixth classes will have a large plastic tub each beside their chair into which all their belongings will be kept. Pencil cases will be left in school and these pupils will need a second pencil case at home. Please ensure wipeable pencil cases are sent to school.

All school bags are to be free of keyrings or fluffy toys.

Hygiene

Hand hygiene, cough and sneeze etiquette will be constantly reinforced.

All children will wash their hands with soap and hot water every time they go to the bathroom and before they eat their lunches.

Every time they enter and leave their classroom they will sanitize their hands using the touchless sanitizer outside each classroom.

They will have their hygiene bags hanging on their chairs so that if they feel an impending sneeze they have tissues at hand without moving around room

Each teacher has antiseptic wipes and spray should such a sneeze “escape “. Used tissues will be disposed of in a pedal bin located near the classroom sink where the child will then wash their hands.

The school has employed a cleaning service who will send a cleaner every day in the school for 4 hours. The Principal has given specific instructions to the cleaner regarding fully cleaning and sanitizing all areas.

All tables, chairs, door handles and touch areas will be washed and sanitized every evening Bathrooms will be washed and sanitized twice daily as well as a regular rota of cleaning duties.

Children who should not attend school

 

If your child is in one of the following categories, they should not attend school:

  • Children who have been diagnosed with Covid-19

  • Children who have been in close contact with a person who has been diagnosed with Covid-19

  • Children who have a suspected case of Covid-19 and the outcome of the test is pending

  • Children who have been in contact with a person who has a suspected case of Covid-19 and the outcome of the test is pending

  • Children with underlying health conditions who have been directed by a medical professional not to attend school

  • Children who have returned home after travelling abroad and must self-isolate for a period of 14 days

  • Children who are generally unwell

  • Children who have been ill with diarrhoea are advised to stay out of school for 48 hours.

  • If anyone in a household displays symptoms of Covid 19, all children from that household are asked to stay at home until Covid testing result has been received.

 

Procedure to be followed if child displays symptoms of Covid 19 in school

If a child displays any symptoms of Covid 19 in school they will be sent to an isolation area, and parents will be called to collect them and may collect other family members in the school. The parents must contact their GP and inform them. When it is decided that the child does not have Covid, then the child and siblings return to school.

If a child tests positive for Covid 19 then the HSE are informed and they will contact all close contacts including the school community through contact tracing. The school will then follow HSE instructions and advice.

 

Staff

Any staff member who displays symptoms of Covid 19 will not come to school until they have been tested and received a negative result. If they receive a positive result the HSE will inform school on procedures and carry out contact tracing.

All staff members completed a Return to Work questionnaire and they have completed the Covid induction training. They are fully aware of symptoms and precautions needed to limit the spread of the virus. All the staff will wear a facemask in school when they are in their classroom or within 2 m of another person. All the staff have been provided with a hygiene pack which includes visor, spare disposable masks, disinfectant spray, hand sanitizer gel, disinfectant wipes and visor wipes. Each classroom also has wipes, disinfectant spray and blue tissue to clean down tables.

Ms Louise Jordan has been elected as Lead Worker Rep. and Mrs Trish McDonald is Deputy Lead Worker. They will liaise with the Principal once a week to review and modify the logistics plan.

Staff Room: The downstairs kitchen will now be used as a staff room by the teachers as it is large enough to facilitate social distancing.

The SNAs and secretary will use the old staff room for their breaks. All the staff will have their own individual crockery and cutlery.

 

 

Wellbeing of the School Community

We will work on the recommended five principles to support the wellbeing of all our pupils and staff. These are promoting:

 

• A sense of safety

• A sense of calm

• A sense of belonging and connectedness to school

• A sense of self-efficacy and school-community efficacy

• A sense of hope

 

Our usual practice is to provide support to pupils based on what is known as the Continuum of Support. This is a tiered system that provides Whole School and Classroom Support for all pupils, additional School Support for some pupils, and School Support plus extra targeted intervention for a few pupils with complex needs.

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