St. Columba’s N.S. Iona Road. 

Dear Parent / Guardian, Staff Member,

We are delighted that we will have some of our pupils back on site soon. The BoM and the School Leadership Team have been working to ensure a safe return to school for all pupils from Junior Infants to 2nd class,  including all of Mr. Flanagan's class, on the 1st of March.

As before. we will apply physical distancing in a practical and sensible way.

 

Physical Distancing will be achieved in two ways: -

Increasing Separation. This will be achieved as before by maximising space and  physical distancing in the classroom. Each class will be referred to as a bubble and we will ensure that there is as little contact as possible between children in different bubbles. Within the bubbles, children from Junior Infants to 2nd class will be organised into pods. A pod is a group of children (normally 6) who will sit together in a group and who will stay in their pod while in the bubble, or classroom.

Decreasing Interaction. As before this will be achieved by decreasing the potential for children from different bubbles (classes) to interact. There will be marked routes for various bubbles to enter and exit the school and to access their classrooms. Bubbles will have different mid-morning and lunch-time access to the playground. Classes will be taken to the toilets at given times so that bubbles will not mix. We will make these routines enjoyable activities for the children, emphasising safety at all times.

 

Return to Education form

As you have already seen in today’s letter from Minister Norma Foley, no pupil may enter the school building on Monday morning without a RETURN TO EDUCATION form being signed by the pupil’s parent/guardian.

A Google Return To Education form will be sent  by text to parents/guardians on Sunday.

All forms must be filled and submitted by the afternoon of Sunday 28th of February as teachers will have to check these forms before Monday morning. Unfortunately if RETURN TO EDUCATION forms are not completed and submitted by Sunday night, pupils will not be able to attend on Monday 1st of March as per Government Guidelines.

 

Drop-off and Collection Routines

As before we would ask all parents to familiarise themselves with the following drop-off and collection routines for the safe delivery and collection of pupils from school. 

It is imperative that

  • All parents/guardians must wear masks when dropping or collecting their children even outdoors

  • Parents drop / collect their children and must disperse immediately. As the children will be supervised there is no need for parents to wait for the children to be collected from their lines.

  • Adults do not come within 2m of each other or other children

  • Parents do not try to have meetings with members of staff in the yard at drop-off and collection times – meetings between parents and teachers can only take place by prior arrangement and will not be face to face.

  • Any message, no matter how small needs to be telephoned through to the office and the message will be passed onto the class teacher. Phone number 0867001901

  • All parents adhere to the drop-off and collection plans as outlined below

 

Drop-off Plan: 

We have made no changes since September so as not to confuse the children 

Junior Infants, Senior Infants and 1st class 8:30am start

● Ms Nolan’s class will line up at the entrance to the Infant section, near the prefab.

● Ms Collins’s class will line up at the entrance to the Infant section, near the prefab.

● Ms Mc Gee’s class will line up at the entrance to the Infant section, near the prefab.

 ● Ms O’ Riordan’s class will line up at the entrance to the Infant section, near the prefab.

● Ms Murphy’s class will line up in the front yard opposite the side door.

● Ms Mc Hugh’s class will line up in the front yard opposite the side door.

● Ms Moroney’s class will line up in the front yard opposite the side door at 8.40 am

● Mr Flanagan’s class will line up in the front yard opposite the side door at 8.40 am

First and Second classes need to socially distance on their spots while lining up. With this in mind we ask parents to drop off their children as near to their start time as possible and then leave as the children will be supervised by staff.

Ms. Whelan and staff members  will be there to supervise the pupils. We strongly discourage playdates or mixing of households (as per Government Guidelines} as we need to work hard to get ALL of our children back to school and to keep our school open.

 

Collection Plan: 

Again there are no changes since September so as not to confuse the children.

Junior Infants and Senior Infants 1:10pm collection

Teachers will escort their classes to the morning lines and parents will wait at a social distance, wearing masks, in the Church grounds. Teachers will dismiss their classes and pupils will walk to their parents or guardian. Pupils will wait with their teacher until they are collected.

1st class pupils 2:10pm collection

Teachers will escort their classes to the side gate and parents will wait in the area in front of this entrance. Teachers will dismiss their classes and pupils will walk to their parents or guardian. Pupils will wait with their teacher until they are collected.

2nd class pupils: 2:20pm collection 

Ms Moroney and Mr Flanagan will escort their classes to the side gate and parents will wait in the Church Grounds, wearing masks at a social distance. Teachers will dismiss their classes and pupils will walk to their parents or guardian. Pupils will wait with their teacher until they are collected.Parents and children must leave the Church grounds immediately- no playing or socialising as per Government Guidelines.

 

We draw your attention to the advice from the HSE. ‘If your child is sent home feeling unwell, parent/guardian must monitor child’s condition for 48 hours for deterioration or new symptoms. If no new symptoms emerge within 48 hours and they do not require paracetamol or ibubrofen, the child can return to school after the 48 hours. Any diarrohea must be resolved for 48 hours before return to school’. If in doubt it’s best to stay out and phone your GP. 

 

We at St. Columba’s appreciate your support as we try to safely reopen the school building for our pupils from Junior Infants to 2nd class. We are delighted that we are welcoming back our pupils from Junior Infants to 2nd class but we are also anxious that our older pupils return to school as soon as possible too. This very much depends on our initial reopening going well and the positivity rate of Covid 19 continuing to decrease. We all need to make a super effort to keep our schools open for the well being of all of our children. With this in mind we ask you not to come onto the school grounds or into the school building unless it is absolutely essential. We appreciate that dropping off the Junior & Senior Infant pupils to their line is essential, but for the older pupils a drop off at the school gate is desirable. We ask that all parents wear masks in the vicinity of the school and disperse immediately after dropping off or collecting their children. As with most schools ventilation means leaving doors and windows open with the heating on. The children may wear a gilet (sleeveless jacket) over their uniform in the classroom as an extra layer if you wish. They will still need a proper coat for yard time. Working together we hope to be able to progress the reopening of the whole school (eventually) in as safe a manner as possible for all. 

Our aim remains to re-open the school for all of our pupils eventually, in an orderly safe manner, while reassuring the children and making them feel comfortable, safe and relaxed with their friends in the school environment. This will be achieved by all of us working together towards this common goal.

Kind regards,

Frank O Connell                  Chairperson, Board of Management

 

Eileen Whelan                       Principal 

 

Below is a link to Well-Being for Parents on the Department of Education site (you may have to enable cookies).

https://www.gov.ie/en/publication/af24b-wellbeing-guidance-documents-for-parents-students-and-schools/#