Covid Guidelines for Claremorris BNS
In addition to the recommended mitigation measures for safe re-opening of schools including sanitising, hand washing, cough/sneeze etiquette, staggered opening , breaks and closing times. etc. Hand-towel dispensers were installed in pupil bathrooms also instead of just at main classroom sink areas.
Distancing where possible has been in place through PODS and bubbles with frequent reminders about this. Masks are strongly encouraged, though not mandatory for pupils in 4th to 6th class who can wear them.
Classes have been fitted with air filters which exchage air 5 times per hour in a 50 sq metre space.
Carbon dioxide monitors also aid in seeing if CO2 levels are at or below the suggested maximum 1400 ppm in the room to indicate if more ventillation is required for a time or less. They change colour from Green to orange to red as Co2 levels rise.
Windows are open still also but the amount of which can vary based especially by the guide from the CO2 monitor levels.
Reminder of Covid Symptoms - download available
Arriving at School
2nd 3rd and 4th will come into school from 8:55-9:10 through their own door access, though 2nd come through front door. These classes start to leave school at 2:50
5th & 6th come into school from 9:10-9:25. These classes leave school at 3:00 p.m.
Pupils who normally spend time together after school should come in on the 1st day to form a POD and leave together from then on.
Pupils who receive Support Teaching may be grouped in a POD to minimise inter-POD mixing where possible.
No pupils can attend school who have been sick or close contacts in the past 14 days. Return to school forms need to be completed and sent in or brought in on the day assuming you have been well.
Parents must not send pupils to school who are sick with any colds, coughs, bugs etc. Please. If your child is presenting as sick in school ,you will be contacted to collect them as soon as possible and they should not return to school for 72 hours unless longer needed as required by the doctor.
Pupils should bring a change of runners or football boots and socks as whenever possible school field will be in use to play on and add distancing.
Wearing of school uniform at this point is appreciated where it can be worn.
Distancing is still very important. Please keep the distances as often and where ever you are.
Cough and sneeze etiquette is still as important as ever. Catch your coughs and sneezes in tissue, then bin the tissue and sanitise or wash your hands. If you don't have a tissue at the time cover the cough or sneeze in your elbow.
Air is very important so, emphasis is on ventilation. Both fresh air and air filtration. All classes have been fitted with a device for this but it used in addition to open windows. Classes will also be fully aired at breaktimes when classes are outside and the air filtration device will be altered to higher as necessary by teacher, principal or Lead worker staff.
If cold, you are allowed and advised to wear extra layers or your coat in class as necessary.
Cleaning hands and cleaning workspace is important still. Handwashing will take place at an available sink with soap and hand towel but is predominantly the pupil sinks going forward which have been also fitted with towel dispensers.
No congregating or unnecessary waiting around for pupils or parents please.
Appointments can be made through the School Secretary if necessary for parents to meet with teachers or principal etc.
School Re-opening Plan / Policy
The School re-opening plan adopts the Policy statement above from the Department od Education fully and transparently.
The initial re-opening strategy as before applies with the following editions.
Pupils have the potential to be vaccinated also, which is a parental choice but is hightly recommended to help achieve herd immunity and also protects vulnerable or high risk people from being affected badly by Covid-19 the health experts and NPHET (Natioanal Public Health Emergency Team) and NIAC (National Immunisation Advisory Committee.
The school will regularly review their Risk Assessment to ensure it complies with recommendations set out in the school efforts to minimise risk and mitigation of Covid-19.
Pupils will enter school in staggered groups from 8:55-9:25 observing as best as possible social distancing. The same will apply for exiting. Leaving school building from 2:50 onwards. This is to help minimise gathering. All staff will assist in this process for their own groups and In school management personnel will support the shared safe and calm transit of pupils into and out of the school.
The one-way system efforts as before will continue for all classes.
Masks are not not mandatory for pupils under guidance from HSE, however a school advisory is :
The Board of Management through the principal encourage masks are worn by all school staff and for pupils from 4th class upwards where that is possible, but are not mandatory for school pupils.
Those with Asthma or other medically supoorted conditions who can't wear masks or where it is not possible for pupils to wear masks then, for health or personal anxiety reasons, these will be accommodated and supported.
Mask breaks are acceptable for the purpose of consuming food and drinks. If it is not to send their children to school if they are displaying any symptoms of Covid-19 or are at all unwell or if they reside in a house where a member is displaying symptoms of Covid-19 particularly.
Should a pupil become ill during the day, their parents will be contacted to collect them as soon as is reasonably possible. The pupil will be moved to the Covid-19 isolation area until they are collected. This are will be cleaned and disinfected after the pupil is collected and again more rigorously that evening as part of the covid-19 cleaner duties.
Staff will be reminded to view again the training materials provided by the Dept and bring their return to work forms.
Staggered breaks will remain in place as before. Mixing of bubbles is discouraged and will be explained to all classes by their class teachers. Classes will continue to be bubbles and Pods within those bubbles will be maintained throughout until advised to change by NPHET and the Department of Education. A minimum of 1 metre as recommended by the Dept. of Education shall be maintained between all Pods and all pupils in those pods where possible.
Generally speaking the objective is to limit potential of contracting the virus and spreading it as much as possible.
Surgical grade masks will be provided for SNA and Special Education Teachers by the school which are for their safety to be worn.
Emphasis and reteaching of the need for extra care around hand hygiene, cough and sneeze etiquette and maintaining physical distancing will be promoted in a calm, sensitive and supportive manner by all school personnel to their own class pupils.
Temperature checks for staff will be conducted daily by the Lead worker Representative or Deputy LWR as before.
School staff will submit a pre-return to work form as before 3 days in advance of re-opening to the school secretary.
One will also be requested from parents of pupils to show that pupils have not been diagnosed or close contacts of confirmed Covis-19 cases in the preceding 14-day period leading up to re-opening. On the hspc.ie website there is a certification that parents can be asked to complete. For any long term absences Covid related or not.
Staff will be responsible to maintain wipe down and cleanliness of their desks and immediate work environment. They will be provided with anti-bacterial wipes as before to assist that. This is not a replacement for ordinary cleaning that will occur.
The school will continue to monitor and refill its supply of PPE equipment, soaps hand towels and sanitser. Individual staff may get this material from the designated store area themselves and bring it to their workspaces.
The Lead Worker Representative will consult with the principal and staff accordingly in the collective approach and shared responsibility of care for themselves, one another, and the school population at designated times before or after school teaching time.
Classrooms will be kept ventilated by having a suitable number of windows open throughout the school day and at break times class doors and windows will be opened to allow fresh air to circulate given virus is airborne more than a surface borne one.
The BOM will continue to engage the services of the school cleaner and caretaker and the emploment of an additional cleaner is now again imminent.
The Board of Management place the authority of communicating with staff including cleaning staff regarding any aspect of this plan in the principal who acts on their behalf in the day-to day management of the school. The principal may delegate this to another staff memeber in the school as appropriate.
This plan is subject to change.
Remote Teaching / Learning Policy
Any parent who has concerns or comments on any matter including Covid-19 is invited to put these in writing and subsequently meet with me and/or the Chairperson of the Board at a mutually acceptable time. I/ we will attempt to address these concerns or comments and allay any fears hopefully and work collaboratively.
M. Loftus. Principal
Covid Response Plan For Safe Re-opening of Schools
Please see above in conjunction with the Policy statement above which shows our school commitment to safe practice around maintaining schools open during Covid-19.
Back to School Advice for Parents
When NOT to send your child to school
The link above outlines directly what to do regarding Covid symptoms and your child.
Going directly to that page will give yout the interactivity to click on hyperlinks in that page.
Please pay close attention to HSE advice and updates on this website rearding School and Covid19
Below is the outlilne of information from HSE from the page link mentioned above.
This advice is for babies and children up to the end of primary school, usually the age of 12 or 13.
Teenagers should follow the advice for adults on when to contact their GP about getting tested for coronavirus.
Children and babies can get coronavirus (COVID-19). But they seem to get it less often than adults and it's usually less serious.
When to get urgent medical help:
If your child becomes very unwell quickly, it's rare that they have coronavirus. Their symptoms may be because of another illness.
Phone 999 or 112 if your baby is under 3 months old and has a high temperature (38 degrees Celsius or more). If your baby is aged 3 to 6 months and has a high temperature, phone your GP urgently
When to keep your child at home and phone your GP
Do not send your child to school or childcare if any of the following is true.
Your child has:
a temperature of 38 degrees Celsius or more
any other common symptoms of coronavirus - a new cough, loss or changed sense of taste or smell, or shortness of breath
been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for coronavirus
been living with someone who is unwell and may have coronavirus
You will need to:
Isolate your child - this means keeping them at home and completely avoiding contact with other people, as much as possible. Read advice on self-isolation
Phone your GP - they will advise you if your child needs a coronavirus test.
Everyone that your child lives with should also restrict their movements, at least until your child gets a diagnosis from their GP or a coronavirus test result. This means not going to school, childcare or work.
Your child should only leave your home to have a test or to see your GP.
Follow the advice on what to do if your child:
Children who are close contacts of someone who has coronavirus
If your child has been in close contact with someone who has coronavirus, they should restrict their movements for 14 days, even if they feel well.
If your child develops symptoms, isolate your child and phone your GP to arrange a test for coronavirus.
When it’s okay to send your child to school or childcare
It's usually okay to send your child to school or childcare if they:
do not have a temperature of 38 degrees Celsius or more (as long as their temperature has not been lowered by taking any form of paracetamol or ibuprofen)
do not have a cough
have not been in close contact with anyone who has coronavirus in the past 14 days
do not live with anyone who is unwell and may have coronavirus
have been told by a GP that their illness is caused by something else, that is not coronavirus. Your GP will tell you when they can return to school or childcare.
have got a negative ('not detected') coronavirus test result and have not had symptoms for 72 hours
If your child also has a high temperature (38 degrees Celsius or over) or has any other common symptoms of coronavirus - isolate your child, phone your GP and restrict your movements.
Most of the time, you do not need to phone your GP if a runny nose or sneezing are your child's only symptoms. Talk to your pharmacist instead.
Children and testing
Your GP will decide if your child needs a test for coronavirus.
They will usually need a test if they have:
been in close contact with someone who has the virus
common symptoms of coronavirus
been in contact with someone who has symptoms
While you wait for their test and test result, follow the advice on keeping your child at home.
Read more about testing for coronavirus.
Bringing your child to a test centre
You may need to drive your child to a test centre. They may find going to a test centre a strange experience. They will see people in protective clothing. They may find this frightening.
Explain to them what will happen before they go. You can read about what to expect at a test centre.
These visual guides may also help children who need to be tested:
Negative (not-detected) test result or another diagnosis
Your child can return to their normal activities once they have been given either:
a negative (not-detected) test result and are 48 hours without symptoms and, or
another diagnosis, that is not coronavirus
You and anyone your child lives with will no longer need to restrict your movements.
Positive test result or not tested and no alternative diagnosis
Your child will need to continue to self-isolate if:
their test result is positive
they are not tested and are also not given an alternative diagnosis - if this happens they should be treated as if they have coronavirus
They’ll need to remain in self-isolation until both of these apply:
they have not had a high temperature (38 degrees Celsius or over) for 5 days
it has been 14 days since they first developed symptoms
Caring for child in self-isolation
If you are looking after a child who is isolating there is a risk that you can become infected too. You will become a close contact if your child tests positive for coronavirus or has not been tested and not been given an alternative diagnosis.
You will need to:
Continue to restrict your movements until 14 days after your child's self-isolation period ends.
If you have symptoms or are unwell
Self-isolate if you have symptoms or become unwell. Follow the advice on self-isolation.
You may also need to:
Back to School Advice for Parents
The Covid-19 World Service project has also consulted with the Department and has used our key messages to produce a range of videos in a variety of languages which your school community may find helpful – please see more by clicking on the link below: