Covid-19 School Response Plan
This Covid-19 Response Plan is designed to support the staff and Board of Management (BOM) in putting measures in place that will prevent the spread of Covid-19 in Patrickswell National School.
The Covid-19 Response Plan details the policies and practices necessary for our school to meet the Government’s ‘Return to Work Safely Protocol’, the Department of Education and Skills plan for school reopening and to prevent the spread of Covid-19 in the school environment. The plan incorporates current advice about measures to reduce the spread of Covid-19 in the community issued by the National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET). As the advice issued by NPHET continues to evolve, this protocol and the measures management and staff need to address may also change. The plan is a live working 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
The response plan will support the sustainable reopening of our school where the overriding objective is to protect the health of staff and pupils while promoting the educational and development needs of the children in the school.
In line with the Return to Work Safely Protocol, the key to a safe and continued return to work, and re-opening of our schools requires strong communication and a shared collaborative approach between the Board of management, staff, pupils and parents.
This document aims to provide details of:
1. COVID-19 School Policy
2. Planning and Preparing for Return to School
3. Return to work safely and Lead Worker Representative(s)
4. Safety Statement and Risk Assessment
5. General advice to prevent the spread of the virus
6. Procedure for Returning to Work (RTW)
7. Control Measures
8. Dealing with a suspected case of Covid-19
9. Staff Duties
10. Covid related absence management
11. Employee Assistance and Wellbeing Programme
1 Patrickswell National School COVID-19 Policy
This COVID-19 policy outlines our commitment as a school to implement the plan and help prevent the spread of the virus. The policy will be signed and dated by the Principal and Chairperson of the Board of Management and brought to the attention of staff, pupils, parents and others.
COVID-19 Policy Statement- Patrickswell National School
Patrickswell National School is committed to providing a safe and healthy workplace for all our staff and a safe learning environment for all our pupils. To ensure that, we have developed the following COVID-19 Response Plan. The BOM and all school staff are responsible for the implementation of this plan and a combined effort will help contain the spread of the virus. We will:
- continue to monitor our COVID-19 response and amend this plan in consultation with our staff
- provide up to date information to our staff and pupils on the Public Health advice issued by the HSE and Gov.ie
- display information on the signs and symptoms of COVID-19 and correct hand washing techniques
- agree with staff, a worker representative who is easily identifiable to carry out the role outlined in this plan
- inform all staff and pupils of essential hygiene and respiratory etiquette and physical distancing requirements
- adapt the school to facilitate physical distancing as appropriate in line with the guidance and direction of the Department of Education
- keep a contact log to help with contact tracing
- ensure staff engage with the induction / familiarisation briefing provided by the Department of Education
- implement the agreed procedures to be followed in the event of someone showing symptoms of COVID-19 while at school
- provide instructions for staff and pupils to follow if they develop signs and symptoms of COVID-19 during school time
- implement cleaning in line with Department of Education advice
All school staff will be consulted on an ongoing basis and feedback is encouraged on any concerns, issues or suggestions.
This can be done through the Lead Worker Representative(s), who will be supported in line with the agreement between the Department and education partners. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org with any queries.
Signed: PJ O Grady, Chairperson B.O.M. Date: August 3rd 2020
2. Planning and Preparing for Return to School
The Board of Management aims to facilitate the resumption of school based teaching and learning and the return to the workplace of staff. The return to the work must be done safely and in strict adherence to the advice and instructions of public health authorities and the Government. Details for the reopening of the school facility and the applicable controls are outlined in this document.
Before re-opening schools in the new school year schools are reminded to check the following:
• Does the water system need flushing at outlets following low usage to prevent Legionella disease; • Has school equipment and mechanical ventilation been checked for signs of deterioration or damage before being used again;
. • Have bin collections and other essential services resumed.
Signage Schools will be required to display signage outlining the signs and symptoms of COVID-19 and to support good hand and respiratory hygiene. The following is a link to the dedicated area of the Health Protection and Surveillance Centre (HPSC) website where there are a number of posters, including those appropriate for primary school pupils, located. Irish versions are also available here. https://www.hpsc.ie/a-z/respiratory/coronavirus/novelcoronavirus/posters/ Schools can download the posters and display in prominent areas such as offices, corridors, staffroom area, classrooms and toilets.
Sec 4.2 Procedure for Returning to Work (RTW) In order to return to the workplace, staff must complete a Return to Work (RTW) form, which is available electronically or from the Principal. A hard copy is attached also at Appendix 1. A RTW form should only be completed at least 3 days prior to any proposed date of return to the workplace.
- ADDITION FEB 2021- Sec 4.2 Procedure for Returning to Work (RTW) & Appendix 6 Checklist for School Management
- A RTW form should be completed and returned to the school before returning to work. Schools should request staff (verbally or in writing) to confirm that the details in the pre-return to work form remain unchanged following subsequent periods of closure such as school holidays
On receipt of the completed form the Principal will provide: details of the Induction Training for completion by staff prior to the return to the workplace and details of any additional health and safety measures in place in the school to facilitate the staff member’s return to the school facility.
Note: Induction Training for staff will be developed by the Department in consultation with stakeholders and made available for all schools and staff.
3. Return to work safely and Lead Worker Representative – Mrs Ciara Russell
Deputy LWR – Mr David Bulfin
Responsibility for the development and implementation of the Covid-19 Response Plan and the associated control measures lies primarily with the Board of Management and the School Leadership.
The Return to Work Safely protocol provides for an agreed procedure between management and staff to appoint a Lead Worker Representative to carry out a specific role.
The role of the worker representative) is to ensure that Covid-19 measures are adhered to in the workplace as follows:
• Work collaboratively with the employer to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the safety, health and welfare of employees in relation to COVID-19.
• Promote good hygiene practices such as washing hands regularly and maintaining good respiratory etiquette along with maintaining social distancing in accordance with public health advice.
• Assist with the implementation of measures to suppress COVID-19 in the workplace.
• Monitor adherence to measures put in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
• Consult with colleagues on matters relating to COVID-19 in the workplace.
• Make representations on behalf of their colleagues on matters relating to COVID-19 in the workplace.
NOTE: If a staff member has any concerns or observations in relation to the Covid-19 Response Plan and control measures or the adherence to such control measures by staff, parents/guardians, contractors or visitors, he/she should contact the lead worker(s) who will engage with the Principal/BOM.
Name(s) of Lead Worker representative: Mrs Ciara Russell
Contact details- email@example.com
please put “FAO LWR” in the subject bar of the email
All staff, parents/guardians, contractors and visitors have a 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 Covid-19 Response Plan and associated control measures.
4. Safety Statement and Risk Assessment
COVID-19 represents a hazard in the context of health and safety in the school environment. A template risk assessment to identify the control measures required to mitigate the risk of COVID-19 in school settings is attached at Appendix 2.
It is important that schools review their emergency procedures involving fire safety, first aid, accidents and dangerous occurrences to consider any new risks that arise due to the school’s COVID-19 Response Plan. Any changes to the schools existing emergency procedures should be documented.
Schools should also review their existing risk assessments to consider any new risks that arise due to the school’s COVID-19 Response Plan. Any changes to the school’s current risk assessments should also be documented.
Sec 5. General advice to prevent the spread of the virus
ADDITION FEB 2021- Infection Prevention Control Measures – To prevent Introduction and Spread of COVID-19 in Schools
Advise staff and pupils to self-isolate or restrict their movements at home if they display any signs or symptoms of COVID-19 and contact their family doctor to arrange a test
Advise staff and pupils not to return to or attend school in the event of the following:
if they are identified by the HSE as a close contact of a confirmed case of COVID-19
if they live with someone who has symptoms of the virus
If they have travelled outside of Ireland; in such instances staff are advised to consult and follow latest Government advice in relation to foreign travel. Advise staff and pupils to cooperate with any public health officials and the school for contact tracing purposes and follow any public health advice in the event of a case or outbreak in the school;
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 best way to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in a school is to minimise the risk of introduction of the disease into the school setting in the first place. This can be achieved through the following measures:
• Promote awareness of COVID-19 and its symptoms amongst staff, pupils, parents and visitors.
• Advise staff and parents of pupils who have symptoms of COVID-19 or other acute infectious diseases not to attend school, to phone their GP and follow the HSE guidance on self-isolation.
• Advise staff and parents of pupils who have been identified by the HSE as contact of a person with COVID- 19 not to attend schools and to follow the HSE advice on restriction of movement.
• Ensure that staff and pupils know what to do if they develop symptoms at school.
• Everyone entering the school building should be required to perform hand hygiene with hand sanitiser. Mobile sanitisers have been ordered
• Visitors to school during the day should be by prior arrangement and should be received at a specific contact point.
Staff, pupils and visitors should at all times adhere to the up to date advice and instructions of the public health authorities in relation to protecting oneself and others against the risk posed by the Covid-19 virus.
Updated advice from the HSE is available on its website – https://www2.hse.ie/coronavirus/
The Department of Education and Skills will ensure all updated advice is circulated to schools. Patrickswell National School will arrange for this advice to be circulated to staff, pupils and visitors in a timely manner.
The Department has been working closely with the HSE and the Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HPSC) to develop health advice which has been tailored to the needs of schools in order to support schools in planning for reopening in autumn.
The advice will continue to be updated in line with public health advice generally and will inform the development of more detailed guidance for schools by the Department of Education. https://www.education.ie/en/covid-19/interim-recommendations-for-the-reopening-of-schools-and-e educational- facilities.pdf
Managing the risk of spread of COVID-19
Wash your hands frequently Regular hand washing with soap and water is effective for the removal of COVID-19. Follow the HSE guidelines on handwashing: For advice from HSE on how to wash your hands the following link will be helpful: https://www2.hse.ie/wellbeing/how-to-wash-your-hands.html
Sec 5.3 Hand Hygiene and Hand Sanitisers Hand hygiene can also be achieved by the use of hand sanitisers (when hands are clean). Hand sanitisers are more readily deployed in school settings to avoid disruption to teaching and learning and to avoid congestion of staff and pupils waiting to use hand washing facilities. They will be available at entry and exit points and in each classroom.
ADDITION FEB 2021- There is a requirement for access to hand washing facilities after activities that are likely to soil hands, for example playing outside or certain sporting activities as hand sanitiser does not work on dirty hands
Alcohol-based sanitiser must not be stored or used near heat or naked flame
Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth Why? Hands touch many surfaces and can pick up viruses. Once contaminated, hands can transfer the virus to your eyes, nose or mouth.
Sec 5.4 Physical distancing Physical distancing is recommended to reduce the spread of infection in the workplace. Guidance on the physical distancing requirements will be informed by public health advice for schools. Interim public health advice has been received from the (Health Protection Surveillance Centre) HPSC and is available at this link as outlined above.
NEW SECTION FEB 2021-
The Department has published guidance setting out the practical steps for good ventilation in accordance with public health advice ‘Practical Steps for the Deployment of Good Ventilation Practices in Schools’ The guidance sets out an overall approach for schools that windows should be open as fully as possible when classrooms are not in use (e.g. during break-times or lunch-times (assuming not in use) and also at the end of each school day) and partially open when classrooms are in use. The guidance provides that good ventilation can be achieved in classrooms without causing discomfort, particularly during cold weather
Practice respiratory hygiene Make sure you, and the people around you, follow good respiratory hygiene. This means covering your mouth and nose with a tissue or your bent elbow when you cough or sneeze. Then dispose of the used tissue immediately. By following good respiratory hygiene, you protect the people around you from viruses such as cold, flu and Covid- 19. Good hygiene practices and washing your hands properly and regularly can help stop the spread of the virus. It is, therefore, crucial that all staff adhere to this advice and adopt the following practices as strictly as possible.
• Wash your hands properly and often
• Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve when you cough and sneeze
• Put used tissues into a bin and wash your hands
• Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
• Touch your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean
• Share objects that touch your mouth – for example, bottles, cups, cutlery, etc.
People at very high risk (extremely vulnerable):
Current public health guidelines have identified groups who are defined as being at very high risk. The HSE has set out these groups.
The list of people in very high risk groups include people who:
• are over 70 years of age – even if you’re fit and well
• have had an organ transplant
• are undergoing active chemotherapy for cancer
• are having radical radiotherapy for lung cancer
• have cancers of the blood or bone marrow such as leukemia, lymphoma or myeloma that are at any stage of treatment
• are having immunotherapy or other continuing antibody treatments for cancer
• are having other targeted cancer treatments which can affect the immune system
• have had bone marrow or stem cell transplants in the last 6 months, or who are still taking immunosuppressive drugs
• severe respiratory conditions including cystic fibrosis, severe asthma, pulmonary fibrosis, lung fibrosis, interstitial lung disease and severe COPD 7
• have a condition that means you have a very high risk of getting infections (such as SCID, homozygous sickle cell)
• are taking medicine that makes you much more likely to get infections (such as high doses of steroids or immunosuppression therapies)
• have a serious heart condition and you are pregnant
The advice for this group is available from the HSE. Staff who are in this group should self-declare on the Return to Work form if they believe that they are at very high risk. Details of the leave arrangements that will apply will be updated by the Department of Education and Skills.
If the Board/Principal is unsure whether or not staff fall into the very high-risk category, advice will be sought from the Occupational Health Service.
6. Procedures to return to work.
Patrickswell National school will be putting in place numerous new procedures to allow pupils and staff the opportunity to return to work on Thursday, August 27th. The following are some of the new procedures:
* Staggered drop off and collection times
* the use of both the front and back entrances to the school
* staggered small and big breaks
* the dividing of the big yard in two with a no man‘s land in the middle
* enhanced cleaning of the school
* SET teachers/SNAs to be working with only 2 designated classes (where possible)
* the installation of Perspex dividers in all classes from 2nd-6th
* the installation of Perspex screens at all teachers desks and the office
* hand santiser stations to be placed in all classrooms and hallways and office
* a one-way system in place in the Halla to avoid people interacting
* a new email system in place for all staff so that they can email each other from the rooms or parents emails for them can be forwarded onto them
* signage/stickers/posters making the children aware of how to prevent the virus spreading especially encouraging hand hygiene and social distancing
* contact tracing log in operation
* appointments have to be made with staff members
* anyone in the school has to have prior-clearance from the principal and fill out a contact tracing sheet
* Additional furniture to be taken out of the classrooms
* All staff to use their own cups/plates and cutlery
* PE lessons to take place outdoors (weather permitting) for the first term
* Our shared SET teacher not going between two schools on the same day. He will spend 3 days here and 2 days in his other school.
* The availability and freedom for staff to use PPE where they feel the necessity, especially the SNAs and teachers working with some children
* Communication with the parents about what is expected of them
* Open windows/doors p (when appropriate and needed to improve the ventilation in the classrooms
NOTE- these are just a few of the procedures we have put in place. Remember also that this is a working document and can be changed when needed.
7 Control Measures
A range of essential control measures have been implemented to reduce the risk of the spread of Covid-19 virus and to protect the safety, health and welfare of staff, pupils, parents/guardians and visitors as far as possible within the school.
These control measures are outlined in this document.
The control measures shall continue to be reviewed and updated as required on an ongoing basis. It is critical that staff, pupils, parents/guardians and visitors are aware of, and adhere to, the control measures outlined and that they fully cooperate with all health and safety requirements.
Staff, in particular, should note that they have a legal obligation under Section 13 of the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act 2005 to comply with health and safety requirements and to take reasonable care for the health and safety of themselves, their colleagues and other parties within the workplace.
The following control measures have been put in place:
I. Return to Work Form Staff will be required to complete a RTW form at least 3 days prior to any return to the school facility (see section 2 above). The purpose of the RTW form is to get confirmation from staff that, to the best of his/her knowledge, he/she has no symptoms of Covid-19 and is not self-isolating or cocooning or awaiting the results of a Covid-19 test. update- as of February 2021 this can be verbal confirmation of the answers to the questions on the form.
ii. Induction Training All staff will undertake and complete Covid-19 Induction Training prior to returning to the school building. The aim of such training is to ensure that staff has full knowledge and understanding of the following:
• Latest up to-date advice and guidance on public health
• Covid-19 symptoms
• What to do if a staff member or pupil develops symptoms of Covid-19 while at school
• Outline of the Covid-19 response plan
Staff will be kept fully informed of the control measures in place in the school and their duties and responsibilities in preventing the spread of Covid-19 and with any changes to the control measures or guidance available from the public health authorities.
If a staff member is unsure about any aspect of the Covid-19 Response Plan, the associated control measures, or his/her duties, he/she should immediately seek guidance from the Principal.
iii. Hygiene and Respiratory Etiquette It is crucial that all staff, pupils, parents/guardians, contractors and visitors are familiar with, and adopt, good hand and respiratory hygiene practices.
Guidance documentation and Information posters will be available at various locations within the school facility. Information posters will be prominently displayed at appropriate locations within the school facility including offices, corridors, staffroom area, classrooms and toilet areas. Such are intended to inform but also remind everyone about the importance of hygiene in preventing the spread of Covid-19 virus and protecting health and safety.
Hand washing facilities and/or hand sanitisers will be available at multiple locations within the school facility and should be available in each classroom.
The Department has arranged for a drawdown framework to be established to enable schools purchase hand- sanitisers and any other necessary PPE supplies for use in the school.
iv. Use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Staff will be encouraged to wear a mask inside the school building. For a limited number of staff, PPE will need to be used occasionally or constantly due to the nature of certain work activities or work areas.
Such include roles where:
• Performing intimate care
• Where a suspected case of Covid-19 is identified while the school is in operation
ADDITION FEB 2021- Medical Grade Masks
Schools must provide medical grade masks in the EN16483 category to all SNAs and teachers in special schools and special classes and those staff by necessity that need to be in close and continued proximity with pupils with intimate care needs.
Appropriate PPE will be available for dealing with suspected COVID-19 cases, intimate care needs and for first aid.
This will be updated as appropriate in line with advice from the HPSC. Where staff provide healthcare to children with medical needs in the school environment they should apply standard precautions as per usual practice.
- Department of Education correspondence to schools on 30/11/21 stipulates that children from 3rd to 6th class must now wear a mask to school with the exception of:
- • any pupil with difficulty breathing or other relevant medical conditions
- • any pupil who is unable to remove the cloth face-covering or visor without assistance
- • any pupil who has special needs and who may feel upset or very uncomfortable wearing the cloth face covering or visor, for example pupils with intellectual or developmental disabilities, mental health conditions, sensory concerns or tactile sensitivity. (Amendment December 2021)
Wearing of Gloves: The use of disposable gloves in the school setting by pupils or staff is not appropriate. It does not protect the wearer and may expose others to risk from contaminated gloves. Routine use of disposable gloves is not a substitute for hand hygiene.
Arrangements for more regular and thorough cleaning of areas and surfaces within the school will be made. We have signed into a 12 month contract with Proclean Cleaners. Regular and thorough cleaning of communal areas and frequently touched surfaces shall be conducted, in particular, toilets, door handles and kitchens. Cleaning will be performed daily and whenever facilities or surfaces are visibly dirty. The pupils will be also encouraged to take an active role in keeping their areas clean.
All staff will have access to cleaning products and will be required to maintain cleanliness of their own work area. Staff should thoroughly clean and disinfect their work area before and after use each day.
There will be regular collection of used waste disposal bags from offices and other areas within the school facility.
Staff must use and clean their own equipment and utensils (cup, cutlery, plate etc.).
vi. Access to the school building /contact log
Access to the school facility will be in line with agreed school procedures. Arrangement for necessary visitors such as contractors and parents/guardians with be restricted to essential purposes and limited to those who have obtained prior approval from the Principal.
The prompt identification and isolation of potentially infectious individuals is a crucial step in restricting the spread of the virus and protecting the health and safety of the individuals themselves and other staff, contractors and visitors at the workplace.
A detailed sign in/sign out log of those entering the school facilities should be maintained. The school should maintain a log of staff and students contacts. Contact tracing Books have been purchased to help with this and our LWR will monitor these carefully. In addition see visitor contact log at Appendix 3
vii. First Aid/emergency procedure
The standard First Aid/Emergency procedure shall continue to apply in Patrickswell National School.
In an emergency or in case of a serious incident, call for an ambulance or the fire brigade on 112/999 Contact the principal or nearest first aider giving details of location and type of medical incident.
Please also read APPENDIX 4- a letter to the Parents explaining the measures being put in place by Patrickswell NS to stop the spread of the virus and also detailing what the school expects the parents to do to help the school reopen safely
7. Dealing with a suspected case of Covid-19
ADDITION FEB 2021- School staff should be encouraged to download the HSE COVID-19 tracker app to assist Public Health for contract tracing purposes both in and out of the school setting
Staff or pupils should not attend school if displaying any symptoms of Covid-19. The following outlines how Patrickswell National School will deal with a suspected case that may arise during the course of work.
A designated isolation area has been identified within the school building (The Small kitchen, room near the Halla). If more than one pupil has been identified on the same day the second and subsequent pupils will be put in the Halla- away from each other- with the doors of the Halla closed. The designated isolation area should be behind a closed door and away from other staff and pupils.
If a staff member/pupil displays symptoms of Covid-19 while at work in Patrickswell National School the following are the procedures to be implemented:
• If the person with the suspected case is a pupil, the parents/guardians should be contacted immediately
• Isolate the person and have a procedure in place to accompany the individual to the designated isolation area via the isolation route, keeping at least 2 meters away from the symptomatic person and also making sure that others maintain a distance of at least 2 meters from the symptomatic person at all times
• Provide a mask for the person presenting with symptoms if one is available. He/she should wear the mask if in a common area with other people or while exiting the premises
• Assess whether the individual who is displaying symptoms can immediately be directed to go home/be brought home by parents and call their doctor and continue self-isolation at home
• Facilitate the person presenting with symptoms remaining in isolation if they cannot immediately go home and facilitate them calling their doctor. The individual should avoid touching people, surfaces and objects. Advice should be given to the person presenting with symptoms to cover their mouth and nose with the disposable tissue provided when they cough or sneeze and put the tissue in the waste bag provided
• If the person is well enough to go home, arrange for them to be transported home by a family member, as soon as possible and advise them to inform their general practitioner by phone of their symptoms. Public transport of any kind should not be used
• If they are too unwell to go home or advice is required, contact 999 or 112 and inform them that the sick person is a Covid-19 suspect.
• Carry out an assessment of the incident which will form part of determining follow-up actions and recovery
• Arrange for appropriate cleaning of the isolation area and work areas involved.
The HSE will inform any staff/parents who have come into close contact with a diagnosed case via the contact tracing process. The HSE will contact all relevant persons where a diagnosis of COVID-19 is made. The instructions of the HSE should be followed and staff confidentiality is essential at all times.
8. Staff Duties
Staff have a statutory obligation to take reasonable care for their own health and safety and that of their colleagues and other parties.
In order to facilitate a safe return to work, these duties include, but are not limited to, the following:
I. Adhere to the School Covid-19 Response Plan and the control measures outlined. The cooperation and assistance of all staff is essential to reduce the risk of spread of Covid-19 and to protect health and safety as far as possible within the school. All staff have a key role to play.
ii. Coordinate and work with their colleagues to ensure that physical distancing is maintained.
iii. Make themselves aware of the symptoms of Covid-19 and monitor their own wellbeing.
iv. Self-isolate at home and contact their GP promptly for further advice if they display any symptoms of Covid-19.
v. Not return or attend schooling the event of the following
- if they have symptoms of Covid-19 under any circumstances.
- ADDITION FEBRUARY 2021- if they live with someone who has symptoms of the virus
- If they have travelled outside of Ireland; in such instances staff are advised to consult and follow latest Government advice in relation to foreign travel
vi. If they develop any symptoms of Covid-19 whilst within the school facility, they should adhere to the procedure outlined above.
vii. Complete the RTW form before they return to work.
viii. Must inform the Principal if there are any other circumstances relating to Covid-19, not included in the form, which may need to be disclosed to facilitate their safe return to the workplace. ix. Must complete Covid-19 Induction Training and any other training required prior to their return to school.
x. Must be aware of, and adhere to, good hygiene and respiratory etiquette practices.
xi. Keep informed of the updated advice of the public health authorities and comply with same.
Xii. ADDITION FEB 2021- Cooperate with any public health personnel and their school for contact tracing purposes and follow any public health advice given in the event of a case or outbreak in their school
Xiii Undergo any COVID-19 testing that may be required in their school as part of mass or serial testing as advised by Public Health
Circular 49/2020 deals with Corona virus (COVID-19): Arrangements for Teachers and Special Needs Assistants employed in recognised Primary Schools https://www.education.ie/en/Circulars-and-Forms/Active-Circulars/cl0049_2020.pdf
9. Coved related absence management The management of a Covid-19 related absence will be managed in line with agreed procedures with DES. Circular 49/2020 also deals with Coved related absences. https://www.education.ie/en/Circulars-and-Forms/Active-Circulars/cl0049_2020.pdf
10. Substitution and EPV Days- Information note 08/2020 deals with issues surrounding these topics file:///C:/Users/OFFICE/Downloads/84095_52f1d615-f321-4c29-be01-26dbe91dabbf.pdf
Most days that may not have been covered by substitution in the past will be covered for the school year 2020/21. The first EPV day that a teacher uses may be covered by a substitute. The other days may only be taken if they are not disruptive to the running of the school. Any unused EPV days may be carried over to the school year 2021/22.
11. Employee Assistance and Wellbeing Programme- UPDATED FEB 2021
The Department recognises the need for school staff wellbeing and collective self- care. Support for school staff wellbeing will be provided by Department Support Services including the PDST and CSL, as well as by the HSE’s Health Promotion Team. An Occupational Health Strategy is in place as a supportive resource for staff in schools. The aim of the Occupational Health Strategy is to promote the health and wellbeing of employees in the workplace, with a strong focus on prevention. The Occupational Health Strategy comprises the Employee Assistance Service and the Occupational Health Service. The Employee Assistance Service (EAS) is provided by Spectrum.Life under the logo of ‘Wellbeing Together: Folláinne Le Chéile’.
The EAS is a self-referral service where employees have access to a dedicated free- phone confidential helpline 1800 411 057 available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year providing advice on a range of issues such as wellbeing, legal, financial, mediation, management support etc. The service is also available via SMS, WhatsApp, e-mail, live chat and call back request. All points of contact for the service are qualified, accredited and experienced mental health professionals.
Where required, short-term counselling is available to employees and their families (over the age of 18 years and living at home).
A bespoke wellbeing portal and app is available which offers access to podcasts, blogs, live chats and videos on topics around wellbeing and mental health, family life, exercise and nutrition. E-Learning programmes across mental health, sleep and a range of wellbeing topics are also available. In addition online cognitive behavioural therapy is provided. As part of the services provided by Spectrum.Life a Mental Health Promotion Manager is available to develop and deliver evidence based mental health and wellbeing initiatives to reduce stigma and improve mental health literacy and to increase engagement with the service. A series of weekly webinars and live talks to promote staff wellbeing in schools is current available on the wellbeing portal
COVID-19 Policy Statement- Patrickswell National School
Patrickswell National School is committed to providing a safe and healthy workplace for all our staff and a safe learning environment for all our pupils. To ensure that, we have developed the following COVID-19 Response Plan. The BOM and all school staff are responsiblefor the implementation of this plan and a combined effort will help contain the spread ofthe virus. We will:
• continue to monitor our COVID-19 response and amend this plan in consultation with our staff
• provide up to date information to our staff and pupils on the Public Health advice issued by the HSE and Gov.ie
• display information on the signs and symptoms of COVID-19 and correct handwashing techniques
• agree with staff, a worker representative who is easily identifiable to carry out the role outlined in this plan
• inform all staff and pupils of essential hygiene and respiratory etiquette and physical distancing requirements
• adapt the school to facilitate physical distancing as appropriate in line with the guidance and direction of the Department of Education
• keep a contact log to help with contact tracing
• ensure staff engage with the induction / familiarisation briefing provided by the Department of Education
• implement the agreed procedures to be followed in the event of someone showing symptoms of COVID-19 while at school
• provide instructions for staff and pupils to follow if they develop signs and symptoms of COVID-19 during school time
• implement cleaning in line with Department of Education advice
All school staff will be consulted on an ongoing basis and feedback is encouraged on any concerns, issues or suggestions.
This can be done through the Lead Worker Representative(s), who will be supported inline with the agreement between the Department and education partners. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org with an queries.
Signed: PJ O Grady, Chairperson B.O.M Date: August 3rd 2020
Patrickswell National School
Health Safety and Risk Assessment
Bubble 1: Junior Infants, Senior Infants, 1st Class Bubble 2: 2nd, 3rd, 4th Bubble 3: 5th, 6th
|Risk Assessment Date: .|
Arrival and Departure
Breaks and Lunchtimes
Pupil Interaction during Class Times
Suspected Cases of Covid- 19
Increased interaction on arrival and departure from school. Parents and children congregating around the entrance points
Opportunity for children to interact with students from other classes.Breakdown of social distancing rule
Classrooms are not large enough to allow 1m. distance between pupils as recommended for pupils from 2nd to 6th class
Increased interaction among pupils while in the classroom
Pupils may not go directly to the SET rooms or may interact with pupils from other classes while going to and from SET rooms
Poor hygiene can contribute to the spread of infection
Staff are vulnerable to infection due to interactions with parents, pupils and other staff members.
This highly contagious disease can spread quickly.
|Parents and children will remain in their cars, until it is their assigned time to enter, practicing social distancing as they do so. Classes will be assigned designated entrance and exit gates. They will also be assigned a specific arrival and dispersal time. Parents will not be allowed into the school building or school yard.|
We will have staggered lunchtimes in place and the yards will be set out so that students will only be in contact with those in their own class. Students will be encouraged to socially distance in the yards.
Perspex desk dividers have been purchased, from a company based in Patrickswell, that allow the children to sit in “pods” of 4 with the Perspex guard in between them and the 1m. social distance will be maintained between each pod
The children will be in the class “bubble” for most of the day.
Pupils will be collected by the SET teacher and brought through the hall which will have stickers on the floor telling the child the direction to go so they can be socially distant from anybody else going through the halla at the same time.
Hand sanitiser dispensers will be installed throughout the school and the children will be given time to perform hand hygiene regularly during the day. Posters will be displayed showing hand washing technique as well as correct coughing and sneezing etiquette. Pupils will be taught how to sanitize their work stations.Cleaning in schools will be increased considerably. Extra cleaning personnel and equipment will be acquired. Each classroom will be cleaned daily especially the “touch-points” in the classrooms- door handles, whiteboards, toilets and sink areas. Children may be asked to wipe down their table area and chair at the end of the day. Resources will be provided for children individually where possible or shared with their “pod”. Resources that are being shared will be cleaned as regularly as needed. Books, toys, resources, and tablets will be cleaned regularly or quarantined for 72 hours before being reused.
Staff will complete training and will submit return to work forms prior to school re-opening A new e-mail system will be put in place which will be used to reduce personal interactionsSET teaching will be assigned per two classrooms and SNAs will be assigned to specific classes in order to reduce the number of interactions per day.Staff will try and maintain physical distance from children when they can and may wear PPE when needed. Also, Perspex screens have been purchased for the teacher’s desks.The number of staff allowed in the staffroom will be limited to three at any one timeAnyone of the staff administering first-aid to a child will be required to wear a mask/visor, gloves, and an apron.
Staff members who present with symptoms will go home as soon as possible and contact their GP for advice.In the case of a pupil presenting with symptoms, the child will be brought to the Isolation Room by a staff member keeping at least 2 meters social distance from the staff member. The parent will be immediately contacted and asked to come to the school to take the child either to the doctor or home. The handover will take place at the front door. A mask will be given to the child to wear until he/she is picked up. The secretary/principal/SNA will remain with the child until he/she is picked up. Dedicated waste bins will be in use. The staff member caring for the child in isolation should wear personal protective equipment i.e. face mask, disposable apron, and gloves. The child should be encouraged not to touch surfaces, people, or any objects. Public transport of any kind should not be used by the parent to take the child home. Appropriate cleaning and disinfection of the isolation area and the child’s workstation will be carried out immediately. The principal and the Lead Worker Representative (a staff member who is in charge of making sure the Covid Response Plan is working) will carry out an assessment of the incident which will form any part of follow up actions. The principal will inform the HSE in line with correct protocols.
School Contact Tracing Log for Visitors
|Name of School||School Contact Person|
|Address of School||For Queries only:Phone No|
|Name of Visitor||Was the visit pre-arranged with the Principal? Yes No|
|Date of Visit||__ __ / __ __ /________||Time||Entry|
to school __________ am pm
from School __________ am pm
|Visitor Status||Contractor||Parent||Other Please complete: _______________________________________|
|Contact details of visitor||Company Name (if applicable)|
|Contact No.||Email Address|
|Reason for Visit|
|Who the visitor met (separate line required for each person the visitor met)|
|Name of Person visited||Length of time spent with each person in the school|
Checklist for School Management
Composite Checklist for Schools
This checklist supports planning and preparation, control measures and induction needed to support a safe return to school for pupils, staff, parents and others.
For completion by the agreed person with overall responsibility of managing the implementation of the COVID-19 Response plan in line with the supports as agreed with Department of Education.
Planning and Systems
1. Is there a system in place to keep up to date with the latest advice from Government and Department of Education, to ensure that advice is made available in a timely manner to staff and pupils and to adjust your plans and procedures in line with that advice?
2. Have you prepared a school COVID-19 response plan and made it available to staff and pupils? Department guidance and templates provided
3. Have you a system in place to provide staff and pupils with information and guidance on the measures that have been put in place to help prevent the spread of the virus and what is expected of them?
4. Have you displayed the COVID-19 posters in suitable locations highlighting the signs and symptoms of COVID-19?
5. Have you told staff of the purpose of the COVID-19 contact log?
6. Have you a COVID-19 contact log in place to support HSE tracing efforts if required?
(Contact log template attached).
7. Have you informed staff on the measures and provided a system for them to raise issues or concerns and to have them responded to?
8. Have you reviewed and updated risk assessments in line with DES advice to take account of any controls to help prevent the spread of COVID-19? (Risk template attached)
9. Have you updated emergency plans, if necessary to take account of the COVID-19
10. Have you made available to each staff member a COVID-19 return-to-work form to be completed and returned before they return to the workplace? (Template attached)
11. Have you request confirmation that the details in the Return to Work Form remain unchanged following periods of closure such as school holidays.
12. Are you aware of staff members who are at very high risk under the HSE guidance on people most at risk (HSE guidance on people most at-risk) and advised them of the DES agreed arrangements for management of those staff?
13. Have you advised staff and pupils they must stay at home if sick or if they have any symptoms of COVID-19?
14. Have you advised staff and pupils not to return to or attend school if they are identified by the HSE as a close contact of a confirmed case of COVID-19 or if they live with someone who has symptoms of the virus.
15. Have you advised staff and pupils not to return or attend school if they have travelled outside of Ireland; in such instances staff are advised to consult and follow latest Government advice in relation to foreign travel.
16. Have you told staff and pupils what to do and what to expect if they start to develop symptoms of COVID-19 in school, including where the isolation area is?
17. Have you advised staff and pupils to cooperate with any public health officials and the school for contact tracing purposes and follow any public health advice in the event of a case or outbreak in the school;
18. Have you advised staff of the availability of the supports of the occupational health and wellbeing programme through Spectrum Life?
19. Has a lead worker representative been identified (in line with the process agreed with the DES and education partners) and detailed at Section 4.3 of this plan to help advise staff and to monitor compliance with COVID-19 control measures in the school and taken measures to ensure all staff know who the representative is?
Training and Induction
20. Have you advised staff to view the Department of Education’s training materials which are available online?
21. Have you taken the necessary steps to update your school induction / familiarisation training to include any additional information relating to COVID-19 for your school?
22. Have first aiders, if available, been given updated training on infection prevention and control re: hand hygiene and use of PPE as appropriate?
Buildings / Equipment
23. If you have mechanical ventilation does it need cleaning or maintenance before the school reopens after periods of closure?
24. Does your water system need flushing at outlets following low usage to prevent Legionnaire’s Disease?
25. Have you visually checked, or had someone check, all equipment in the school for signs of deterioration or damage before being used again?
26. Have you arranged for the school, including all equipment, desks, benches, doors and frequent touched surfaces points, to be cleaned once a day
Infection Prevention Control Measures in place
Hand / respiratory hygiene
27. Have you accessed supplies of hand sanitisers and any necessary PPE equipment in line with the interim HPSC health guidance from the national framework provided by the Department?
28. Are there hand washing/hand sanitising stations in place to accommodate staff, pupils and visitors adhering to hand hygiene measures in accordance with Department guidance?
29. Have arrangements been made for staff and pupils to have regular access to hand- washing/hand sanitising facilities as appropriate?
30. Are hand sanitisers easily available and accessible for all staff, pupils and visitors – e.g. in each classroom and at entry and exit points to school buildings?
31. Have you made arrangements to ensure hand hygiene facilities are regularly checked and well-stocked?
32. Does the alcohol-based hand sanitiser have at least 60% ethanol or 70% isopropanol as the active ingredient?
33. Have you informed staff about the importance of hand washing?
34. Have you arranged for staff to view how to wash their hands (with soap and water for at
least 20 seconds) and dry them correctly through the use of the HSE video resource?
35. Have you shown staff and pupils how to use hand sanitiser correctly and where hand-
sanitising stations are located?
36. Have you displayed posters on how to wash hands correctly in appropriate locations?
37. Have you told staff and pupils when they need to wash their hands or use hand sanitiser?
before and after eating and preparing food
after coughing or sneezing
after using the toilet
where hands are dirty
before and after wearing gloves
before and after being on public transport
before leaving home
when arriving/leaving the school /other sites
when entering and exiting vehicles
after touching potentially contaminated surfaces
if in contact with someone displaying any COVID-19 symptoms
38. Has you told staff and pupils of the importance of good respiratory measures to limit the spread of the virus?
avoid touching the face, eyes, nose and mouth
cover coughs and sneezes with an elbow or a tissue dispose of tissues in a covered bin
39. Have you identified all available school space to be used to maximise physical distancing?
40. Have you reviewed the templates provided by the Department of Education which show
options for revised layout of school rooms to meet physical distancing requirements?
41. Have you arranged to revise the layout of the rooms and furniture as per the Department
guidelines if necessary?
42. Have you arranged in each room that the teacher’s desk should be at least 1m and where
possible 2m away from pupil desks?
43. Have you arranged in each room that pupils would be at least 1m away from each other?
44. Have you allocated work stations consistently to the same staff and children rather than
having spaces that are shared?
45. Have you structured 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?
46. If you have divided a class into Pods, have you arranged at least 1m distance between
individual Pods within the class bubble and between individuals in the pod, whenever
47. Have you taken steps to limit contact and sharing of common facilities between people in
different Class Bubbles (and Pods within those class bubbles) as much as possible?
48. Have you arranged Pod sizes to be as small as it is likely to be reasonably practical in the
specific classroom context?
49. Have you arranged to the greatest extent possible for pupils and teaching staff to be
consistently in the same Class Bubbles acknowledging that this will not be possible at all
50. Have you arranged where possible that different class bubbles to have separate breaks
and meal times or separate areas at break or meal times?
51. Have you made arrangements to limit interaction on arrival and departure from school and
in other shared areas?
52. Have you encouraged walking or cycling to school as much as possible?
53. Have you made arrangements, in so far as practicable, to open additional access points to
school to reduce congestion?
54. Can you provide a one system for entering and exiting the school, where practical?
55. Have you arranged for staff meetings to be held remotely or in small groups or in large
spaces to facilitate physical distancing?
56. Have you a system to regularly remind staff and pupils to maintain physical distancing
57. Have you advised staff not to shake hands and to avoid any physical contact?
58. Have you advised staff of the Department’s guidance to achieve good ventilation
59. Have you checked any mechanical ventilation systems to ensure an adequate supply of
fresh air is used
Visitors to Schools
60. Have you identified the activities that involve interacting with essential visitors to the school, made arrangements to minimise the number of such visitors and put in place measures to prevent physical contact, as far as possible?
61. Are there arrangements in place to inform essential visitors to the school of the measures to help prevent the spread of infection?
62. Have you a system in place for all visitors who do need to come to the school to make appointment, arrange to contact a central point and to record their visit using the contact
Return to School Information Page for Parents/Staff
We are really looking forward to welcoming all our pupils back to school on Thursday, 27th August. We hope that you have enjoyed the summer holidays and we, the staff of Patrickswell NS, will do everything to help your child transition smoothly back into school life after such a long closure. Please do let your child’s class teacher know if you have any worries about how your child feels about going back to school or if they have had any difficulties during the closure that we may not know about.
As I am sure everyone is aware, every school in Ireland, education, and life in general, is going to be quite different for the foreseeable future. This document is going to try and answer many of the questions that you may have. Changes have had to be made and I want all the parents to know that we have made these changes to keep the children, staff and community of Patrickswell as safe as possible, while also trying not to disrupt the routines too much. The children will notice signage and posters around the school and hand sanitiser dispensers in the four doorways and their own classrooms also. The document is set out in bullet point form so you should be able to find the section you want easily.
Staggered drop off/Collection times:
Schools must “limit interaction on arrival and departures from school”. Therefore, we will be using two gates as entry points- the Main Gate and the Back gate (on the way to the soccer pitch). This is to make it easier for the child to socially distance as they enter/leave the school. Also, no parent should enter the school unless they have an appointment made (I will have more about that later in this document)
Mornings-It is really important that we do not congregate around the entrance points. Please remain in your car, if possible, until it is your classes turn to enter. Also, it is ESSENTIAL (for the children and any adults that are there) to practice social distancing at these times.
Back Gate- 9.15am Mr Quaid’s 5th Class practice social distancing please- enter and go into their class through Door C (the door near Mr Quaid’s room- it is marked Door C) and go to their places- their names will be on their “Pod” in the room.
Back Gate- 9.20pm- Ms Russell’s 2nd/3rd Class practice social distancing please- enter and go to their class through Door D (the far over door at the back of the school- it is marked Door D) and go to their places- their names will be on their “Pod” in the room
Main Gate- 9.20am- Mrs Twohig’s 3rd/4th Class practice social distancing please- enter through the main door- Door A- and go to their class (Mr Bulfin’s class last year) and go to their places- their names will be on their “Pod” in the room.
Main Gate- 9.20am- Mr O Connor’s 6th Class- practice social distancing please- enter through Door B- near Mr O Connor’s Class, go to their class and go to their places- their names will be on their “Pod” in the room.
Main Gate- 9.25am- Ms Noonan’s Junior and Senior Infants- enter through the main door- Door A- and go into their room. Ms Noonan will show the children to their places. Unfortunately, parents will be unable to enter the school/room like previous years on the first day.
(Please remember that junior Infants finish at noon until September 11th- the first day that the child will be finished at 2.05pm is Monday September 14th)
Main Gate- 9.25am- Ms Brennan’s Seniors and 1st Class- enter through Door B, near Ms Brennan’s room- marked door B- and Ms Brennan will show you to your seat there.
Note– These are the gates and doors your child will enter and exit through at all times. So please do try and park your car in/collect your child at a place closest to the gate they will be exiting from.
Afternoons- (after the initial period when the Junior Infants finish earlier)
2.05pm- Main Gate – Ms Noonan’s juniors/seniors and Ms Brennan’s seniors will exit the school via the main gate with their teacher/another staff member.
2.55pm- Back Gate- Mr Quaid’s 5th Class will exit
3pm- Back Gate- Ms Russell’s 2nd/3rd will exit
3pm- Main Gate- Ms Twohig’s 3rd/4th Class and Mr O Connor’s 6th Class will exit.
Note- Please do not congregate around the gates at these times. Try and arrive as close to the allotted times as possible. All must leave the environs of the school when collected. Unfortunately, no parents will be allowed into the school building or school yard. Also, it is important that all adults model Social Distancing so that the children can see how it should be done. Your cooperation with this arrangement would be greatly appreciated.
We will have staggered lunchtimes in place and the yards will be set out so that your child will only be in contact with the children in their class. We will try, as much as is possible with children, to encourage them to socially distance in the yards. This is a task they will have to learn over time. The big yard will be divided in two- with a ‘no man’s land’ in the middle to allow two classes to use it each lunchtime. The small lunch times will now be 10.45-11am and 11am-11.15am and the big lunch times will be 12.30-1pm and 1pm-1.30pm. The yard duty supervision will be divided between the class teachers and SETs.
Social Distancing in the School/Limiting Interaction
As all adults will know, it is difficult to get children to socially distance, so we will be following the advice of the Department of Education on this and its advice is based on what the Chief Medical Officer is saying. Therefore, the children in Junior Infants, Senior Infants and First Class will be assigned to “pods” in their class, but there is no great expectation for them to practice social distancing. It will be encouraged but will be nearly impossible with children of this age who learn through play.
In 2nd-6th Classes it has been recommended that all children would sit 1m apart. Like most schools, our classrooms are not really big enough for this to happen, so we have purchased Perspex desk dividers, from a company based in Patrickswell, that allow the children to sit in “pods” of 4 with the Perspex guard in between them. Everyone can still see everyone else and the whiteboard/teacher etc and can still communicate with each-other, but it does add a definite safety element to the class as well. We have also removed any excess furniture from the classrooms. Staff will try and maintain physical distance from children when they can and may wear PPE when needed. Also, we have purchased Perspex screens for the teacher’s desks so they can teach children, but at the same time feel socially distant.
Interaction between the classes will be extremely limited.
The children will be in the class “bubble” for most of the day unless they are going to SET teaching. If they are, they will be collected by the SET teacher and brought through the hall which will have stickers on the floor telling the child the direction to go so they can be socially distant from anybody else going through the halla at the same time.
Another additional measure that we are putting in place to limit interaction is a new email system. Each teacher will have their own school email address. Therefore if you want to get in contact with them, you can email the school address- email@example.com with the teachers name in the subject and the email will be passed onto the teacher. All interactions with teachers will have to be through email, a phone call message to Mabel to arrange that the teacher will ring you back, or by a scheduled meeting. It will now not be possible for a parent to arrive for an informal chat with a teacher- we are sorry about this but if you can email beforehand, we will try and work something out. The advice being given is that only those needed in the school should be in the school.
The Children will perform hand hygiene regularly during the day:
- On arrival at school
- Before eating or drinking
- After using the toilet
- After a cough or a sneeze
- After playing outdoors
- When hands are physically dirty
Hand sanitiser dispensers will be installed throughout the school. Children are not required to supply hand sanitiser or any other hand hygiene products, but if you want to send in any hygiene products with your child it will not be a problem.
Special Educational Teaching/SNAs/Team Teaching
The children who have been receiving SEN supports in previous years will continue to receive this help when we return to school. We will be assessing children, both informally and formally over the first few weeks and will adjust our SEN timetabling accordingly for new children that may need extra help. As always, these children will also be receiving in class support from their class teachers.
We are assigning one SET teaching per two classrooms and will also be assigning our SNAs to specific classes (as best as we can) so that the teachers and SNAs are not going into lots of different classrooms every day. This will make it easier to trace what classes our SNAs/SETs have been in if needed. Also, this will allow the teachers to partake in Team-Teaching in the classes that they have been assigned to.
If children need to be withdrawn from their “bubble” by their SNA or SET, for movement breaks or one to one teaching, then this can still be done.
Well Being in Patrickswell NS-
A focus will be put on the well being of every child when the school re-opens. The subjects of SPHE and PE will be prominent in the first term. The PE lessons will take place outside, weather permitting, so that we can socially distance. If the lessons involve shared equipment, then the equipment will be sanitised afterwards.
The Stay Safe Programme and RSE (Relationships and Sexual Education) programs will be taught in term one as not all classes may have received these lessons last year and they are important aspects of the SPHE curriculum. We will also be giving the children checklists and questionnaires to see how they are coping.
USE OF PPE:
The advice being given by the Department is that Primary School Children are not required to wear face-coverings. This advice may change by the time we open. If a parent wants their child to wear a face covering for health purposes, we, as a school, do not have a problem with this.
The choice is with staff members whether they use PPE or not. It is a personal decision, but the school has PPE available for any staff member who may want to use it and its use may be encouraged in certain situations.
Anyone of the staff administering first-aid to a child will be required to wear a mask/visor, gloves, and an apron.
Cleaning in all schools will be increased considerably. We have been given a budget for the extra cleaning personal and equipment required. Each classroom will be cleaned daily especially the “touch-points” in the classrooms- door handles, whiteboards, toilets and sink areas. Children may be asked to wipe down their table area and chair at the end of the day.
Resources will be provided for children individually where possible or shared with their “pod”. Resources that are being shared will be cleaned as regularly as needed. Books, toys, resources, and tablets will be cleaned regularly or quarantined for 72 hours before being reused.
Role of the Parents/Guardians:
- It is important that parents have a clear understanding ofCovid-19 and that it is not possible to guarantee that infection can be prevented in any setting either in a childcare centre, school or in the home.
- Under no circumstances is a parent to bring a child to school if –
- the child is exhibiting any symptoms of Covid 19-
- Cough – this can be any kind of cough, usually dry but not always
- Fever – high temperature over 38 degrees Celsius
- Shortness of Breath
- Breathing Difficulties
- Lack of smell.
- The child has a temperature, is sneezing, coughing, who has been vomiting or has diahorrea.
- a child has been outside of the country in the 14 days prior to August 27th, they are not to attend school but must isolate
- The child has been in contact with any family member and or other person who has Covid – 19.
- Parents must ensure that their child has a large sandwich bag with two facecloths
(One will do for the juniors/seniors and 1st classes) in their schoolbag every day. One of these facecloths will be used to dry their hands after washing them and the other will be used to wipe down their table area and chair before going home ( It might be handy to have two different colours in the bag. These facecloths should be changed every evening and clean ones sent in the next day in a new sandwich bag.
- Parents must ensure that all of the child’s equipment/books/copies are labelled with the child’s name as equipment/books cannot be shared.
- Parents are to ensure that their child knows and uses the protocols around coughing/sneezing/use of tissues/hand sanitisers prior to returning to school.
- Parents must ensure that all books/writing equipment/lunch boxes/water bottles are sanitised using alcohol wipes on completion of homework before being placed in the child’s schoolbag.
- Water bottles are to be filled at home every evening.
- Pencils to be pared at home and copies ruled.
- Children are to go to the bathroom before they leave home for school daily.
- Children are to wash their hands before leaving for school
- Uniforms- Children’s uniforms must be clean and washed regularly as a child may have coughed or sneezed into their sleeve as per coughing protocols.
Parents should change their child’s uniform at least twice during the week and they must be washed after use. This can include the PE uniforms
It is recommended that all children have two jumpers. (There are a number of tracksuit tops/jumpers in the lost property if any parent wants to take them) Reasonably priced uniforms can be bought in Lidl/Pennys/Dunnes and the jumpers/tracksuit tops with the school crest can be bought from Fennessys on William Street.
The pupils of junior/senior /first class should be wearing Velcro shoes.
Children who may have symptoms:
- Any child who is unwell with a fever, has a cold, influenza or infectious respiratory symptoms or is displaying any of the symptoms of corona virus is to stay at home.
The child’s parent should contact their GP and seek their guidance on referral for corona virus testing.
- Temperature testing will take place if the child is showing any symptoms of the virus. An infrared thermometer will be used to do this. Parents will be contacted immediately and must remove the child if the temperature is over 37.5 C.
Protocols if a child becomes unwell or presents as a suspected case of COVID-19 while at school –
- The child will be brought to the Isolation Room by a staff member keeping at least 2 meters social distance from the staff member.
- The parent will be immediately contacted and asked to come to the school to take the child either to the doctor or home. The handover will take place at the front door.
- A mask will be given to the child to wear until he/she is picked up. The secretary/principal/SNA will remain with the child until he/she is picked up.
- Dedicated waste bins will be in use.
- The staff member caring for the child in isolation should wear personal protective equipment i.e. face mask, disposable apron, and gloves.
- The child should be encouraged not to touch surfaces, people, or any objects.
- Public transport of any kind should not be used by the parent to take the child home.
- Appropriate cleaning and disinfection of the isolation area and the child’s workstation will be carried out immediately.
- The principal and the Lead Worker Representative (a staff member who is in charge of making sure the Covid Response Plan is working) will carry out an assessment of the incident which will form any part of follow up actions.
- The principal will inform the HSE in line with correct protocols.
Note- The above protocol has to be followed rigidly so that all the pupils and staff members can remain safe and healthy. It may well be that the child that is showing symptoms does not have the virus, but we cannot as a school take any chances.
Obviously over time items on this information sheet maybe changed or tweaked. I know some parents may be worried about their child returning to school, but Patrickswell NS will help your child to settle back to school life as quickly as possible. Let’s work together to make this happen. Please do help us to implement this plan. It will be great to be back.
The staff and BOM of Patrickswell NS