SAFETY & COVID-19
- PPE (personal protective equipment): as per the Department of Education and Science guidance, face coverings MUST be worn where social distancing of 2 metres is not possible. In our school, this will mean students and staff wearing masks/visors during most of the school day, and any time they are inside the building.
- The school is providing a once-off starter pack for all students, containing a visor, two disposable facemasks, disinfectant wipes and a mini sanitising spray. We are also providing one reusable facemask to everyone.
- Replacement face coverings will be the responsibility of each family.
- We would suggest that, before the return to school, students take some time to get accustomed to wearing masks for extended periods of time.
- 1st Year students will be based in the same classroom for most of their subjects, apart from those which require specialist rooms, eg Science. The four 1st Year classes will be based in the same area of the school and will have a designated entrance and courtyard area. We do not expect 1st Year students to have much contact with other year groups.
- All entrances to the school will be in use before 8.37am each morning (assembly time) and each year group will be given a designated entrance to use. Hand sanitiser will be available at all entrances and in all classrooms, and hands must be sanitised on entry to the school.
- Students arriving late (after 8.37am) will enter by the main door and will have to sign in late at the office – this is vital for possible contact-tracing purposes.
- We will ask all students to keep to the left-hand side of the corridor when moving around the school, and a high standard of behaviour will be expected. Extra supervision will be in place in corridors during and between classes. Students will need to avoid all physical contact with others during the school day – there can be no hugging, jostling, pushing etc.
- Hot water and new soap dispensers have been installed in all student toilets. Entry to toilets will be strictly monitored to ensure social distancing.
- Lockers will only be available for 1st, 2nd and 3rd Year students. Senior students, who have fewer subjects and books, will be expected to carry what they need with them throughout the day.
- While extra cleaning will be in place throughout the school, students will be asked to wipe down their desks and chairs before and after use, and also to wipe down shared tools in woodwork rooms etc using disinfectant wipes which will be provided in all classrooms
- School uniform will be worn as normal, but we would ask you to wash the uniform as often as possible. On the day when a student has PE, they may wear a navy tracksuit end, blue polo shirt and a navy top to school – changing facilities will not be available.
LEARNING AND TEACHING
- We expect learning and teaching to continue as normally as possible, but taking into account the various restrictions which our current health situation requires.
- Students in 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 6th Year have already been provided with Cork ETB email addresses, which will allow them free access to the Microsoft Office online learning system, which we will be using for homework etc, and which will be vital in the event that the school has to close again. These addresses will be provided to all incoming 1st Year students and any other students who did not receive them last year.
- In the event of a school closure, we will endeavour to continue with remote teaching and learning using the Microsoft Online platform, which students will be able to access through their own home devices.
- Our special educational needs team will continue to support students, and while we will be in touch with parents of incoming 1st Year students again ahead of the return to school, any parent with a concern should email us at email@example.com.
ILLNESS & CONTACTING SCHOOL
- If your child is feeling unwell, please keep him/her at home and seek medical advice.
- Access to school building for parents: Please phone ahead where possible if you need to visit the school. Appointments will be necessary. Our new waiting area is small, and we need to keep access to a minimum.
- Contact with Year Heads: As phones can no longer be shared, each Year Head has been issued with a school mobile phone and the contact number for the relevant Year Head will be provided to all parents ahead of the return to school.
- Emergency contact: If your child gets sick at school, he or she will need to be collected immediately. We will need all parents to provide emergency contact numbers in the event that we cannot get you due to work or other commitments.
- Parents who are feel that their children are at increased risk from Covid-19 should contact their GP to discuss these concerns. If you have specific medical advice to keep your child at home, please contact us without delay.
All students have a personal responsibility both as individuals and collectively to have due regard for their own health and safety and that of others and to assist with the implementation of the school’s Covid-19 Response Plan and associated control measures to prevent spread of the virus.
All students should be familiar with the health and safety risks posed by the Covid-19 virus both generally and to them as individuals, and be up to date with and adhere to public health advice and the school’s response plan. Updated advice from the HSE is available on its website.