Divine Mercy SNS Return to School Plan
We are looking forward to welcoming all our pupils back to school on 31st August 2020 following the sudden closure of schools on March 12th 2020. This has been a strange and challenging time for all of us and it will take some time for us to adjust to new ways of doing things. The health, safety and well-being of all our school community, pupils, parents and staff is central to all the decisions we take. This plan has been developed by the Board of Management in conjunction with the Principal and members of staff at Divine Mercy SNS in accordance with advice from the relevant authorities including the DES, HSE and NPHET. The nature of the Covid-19 pandemic means that circumstances change rapidly and frequently in response to how prevalent the virus is. As a result this plan will be a ‘live document’ subject to change and amendment at short notice to ensure compliance with best practice and the most up-to-date advice.
It is our intention that all pupils will return to school on Monday 31 August 2020. It is not possible to completely eliminate the risk of infection however with the co-operation of all members of our school community, it is possible to minimise the risk of the virus being introduced to the school and the consequent risk of its spread. We are asking for your co-operation with the following arrangements:
Arrival of pupils
Collection of children during the school day
Pupils should be in school for the full school day where possible. If an adult has to collect a child during the course of the school day the following arrangement applies.
In accordance with DES & HSE guidelines children in the following categories should not attend school :
If parents are in any doubt about whether their child should attend school, please keep your child at home and seek medical advice. If your child is in a high-risk group, please seek medical advice before returning to school.
Dealing with a suspected case of Covid-19
Pupils should not attend school if displaying any symptoms of Covid-19. If a pupil displays symptoms of Covid-19 while in the building, the following procedures will be implemented:
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.
Supporting the Learning of Pupils who cannot attend school
If a pupil is not able to attend school for an extended period on medical advice, the class teacher and/or learning support teacher will support the pupil’s learning at home by providing and sharing suggested activities with parents.
Impact of a Suspected or Confirmed Case of Covid-19 in a Class
If the school is notified that a person in your pupil’s class has a confirmed case of Covid-19
By necessity, some classroom equipment needs to be shared including tablets and the equipment used for structured activities. Cleaning of such shared equipment with wipes or other cleaning products will take place at regular intervals to minimise the risk of the spread of infection. Resources that can be cleaned will be used.
Due to the number of pupils attending and the play space available to us, we cannot facilitate all the children in the school out playing together at the same time as we did in the past. The yard will be divided into 2.
There will be two breaks every day.
In keeping with our Special Education Policy, learning support will be provided by a blended approach of in-class support and withdrawal. Where a support teacher is working alongside a class teacher and/or an SNA both adults must be mindful of maintaining social distance from each other. Pupils withdrawn for learning support will observe social distancing of at least one metre where possible. The tables and chairs in SET rooms will be wiped clean in between different groups attending.
Face coverings are mandatory for teaching staff. Staff who are attending to particular care needs or who are administering first aid will wear appropriate PPE including gloves and face masks.
Teacher Absence and Substitution
During the Covid-19 emergency pupils cannot be divided and accommodated in other classes in the case of teacher absence. In the event that a teacher is unable to attend school, we will follow the DES guidelines and every effort will be made to secure a substitute teacher for the class.
PE classes will be held outdoors for the month of September.
Other than staff and persons engaged in essential work on behalf of the Board of Management, no adults will be allowed into the school building without prior permission. If you wish to meet with the principal or a member of staff you should contact the school by telephone at 01 4670689 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange an appointment. Each class teacher will also have an email address that parents can use for contact.
Returning to the classroom:
We appreciate your patience and support throughout these challenging and uncertain times. We have had to make changes to the way we do things to ensure the safe return to school of the pupils and staff of Divine Mercy SNS. Thank you for your co-operation and understanding with these matters.
Board of Management
Divine Mercy SNS