I hope everyone had a good summer and is looking forward to getting back into a normal routine again. We are working hard to prepare for the return of the children on Thursday 27th August. The school will follow the DES Covid-19 Response Plan that can be found on our website. We will also follow all guidance from the HSA. We have put in place a large number of measures to keep the children safe. Please be aware of the control measures on how to prevent introduction and spread of Covid-19 in school. This details that pupils with symptoms or those who have been identified by the HSE as a contact for a person with Covid-19 should not come to school.
The situation as regards Covid-19 in the community is obviously ever-changing and as a school we will review all practices and procedures regularly. To achieve the best opportunity for safety for all school users the following practices have been put in place.
DROP OFF & PICK UP ARRANGEMENTS
** 2nd class will start @ 9.30am on Thursday 27thuntil Mon 7thSept.
2nd class parents should accompany their child to the Mulholland Avenue gates where they will be met by Mr. Farrell and their class teacher. The children will then be taken to their classroom. We look forward to welcoming our new 2nd class and every effort will be made to help them settle in.
MORNING DROP-OFF 3rd – 6th class
The ‘drop-off’ timeslot is between 8.45 – 9.05am, with no facility to drop the children off any earlier, due to the current restrictions. Parents may drop off their children at any of the following entrances:
- Anne Street (keep to boys’ school right hand side footpath)
- Mullholland Avenue
- Rear entrance gate (walkway alongside Friary field)
Parents of older children are encouraged to use a ‘drop and go’ approach at the most convenient entrance. There will be no access to walk through the Boys school yard to the Infants or Girls school. Likewise, boys will not be permitted to walk through the Infants or Girls school yard. We appreciate for some this may be an inconvenience but all measures are taken in the interest of everyone’s safety.
Children should not be anxious or nervous. Teachers will be on hand at each of the entrances to greet and direct the children.
Children will proceed directly to their classroom where their class teacher will meet them.
AFTER SCHOOL PICK-UP
It will be necessary to stagger pick-up times at home time to avoid people congregating at this busy time. Parents should not enter the school grounds at this time.
2nd class & older brothers @ 2.30 from Mullholland Avenue Gate. ** Parents must meet children at the gate.
3rd – 6th class children can proceed to the exit gate most convenient to parents.
Children will leave school at the following times:
3rd class & older brothers @ 2.35
4th class & older brothers @ 2.40
5th class & older brothers @ 2.40
6th class @ 2.45
Parents please ensure that children are collected promptly thus allowing the next group to disperse quickly and safely.
Face masks: The children are not required to wear face masks, face coverings or gloves. There will be a strong emphasis on hand washing and hygiene.
Hand washing: Children will be encouraged to wash and/or sanitize their hands throughout the day. Washing of hands is the single most useful thing we can do in school to prevent the spread of infection. Hand sanitizer units have been placed in every classroom and throughout the school. There is also warm water and soap in every classroom and in the toilets.
We ask that each parent provides their child with a packet of tissues, a packet of anti-bacterial wipes and a small bottle of hand sanitizer. These items should be labelled with the child’s name and will belong to the child but will remain in school for daily use.
Each class level is in an individual bubble. The consistent part of the bubble is the pupils. The class bubble remains together for all activities and will not mix with other classes. Each class will have an area of the yard to themselves at break-time and lunch-time.
Uniform: Pupils are asked to wear a fresh uniform every day, if at all possible, to reduce the risk of infection. To make this a little easier for parents we have agreed that for the period in which the school is operating under Covid-19 prevention guidance, all pupils may wear their tracksuit on any day of the week. Parents have the option of alternating between the formal school uniform & school tracksuit or having two school tracksuits. Children should wear appropriate footwear for daily physical activity and be able to tie their own shoelaces if necessary.
School Bags: Children should bring their books in their school bag on the first day. Schoolbags will then remain in school.
Plastic Zip-wallets: Each pupil will have their own zip wallet. This remains in school on their desk. Please ensure your child is equipped with their own pencil, rubber, ruler, crayons, colouring pencils, pritt stick etc. Each should be labelled with your child’s name. Children should also bring a colouring /wordserach/magazine book for lunchtimes on wet days. These items will remain in the child’s zip folder and no one else will touch them or use them. No sharing is permitted.
Lunch: Lunchboxes containing healthy lunches should be brought each day in a disposable bag. Unfortunately, no sharing of food/drink will be permitted. Children must be able to open/peel all items in their lunchboxes themselves. All packaging will be kept in the lunchbox for disposal at home. Lunchboxes must be cleaned thoroughly each evening.
School work: Settling children back to school will be especially important for teachers. Time will be taken to assess pupils’ needs, and re-teach, revise, and consolidate previous learning before introducing pupils to new topics. Certain aspects of the curriculum will be prioritised initially including SPHE, PE, Language and Mathematics.
Homework: There will be no homework for the first few weeks as the children settle back in to their new routine. We encourage the importance of reading at home for enjoyment. There will be no homework club until further notice.
Coats: In bad weather pupils should bring their coat as normal and they can keep them in their schoolbag.
ePayments: To reduce the handling of money we have set up a new ePayment system which allows parents to pay the Arts & Crafts, Book rental and Insurance contribution online. A link will be sent via email and text before Thursday. We would appreciate if payment could be made in this way. However, if this is not possible, all correct monies should be sent in a sealed envelope with your child’s name, class teacher and amount clearly marked.
Pupil Absence: In the event that your child is absent from school parents should email: email@example.com or telephone: 042 9338145 the school to advise of the reason.
Communication: We will continue to use the textaparent, school website www.stmalachysbns.ie and email to communicate with parents. Please ensure your details are up to date and inform the school of any changes to parents or emergency persons contact details.
Parent appointments: While the school is operating under Covid-19 prevention guidance, parents are asked to remain outside the school grounds at all times to reduce footfall and the potential spread of the virus. If necessary, parents may make an appointment to see the principal after 3.00pm, when all children are safely off the premises. Contact with teachers will be by phone appointment.
Early Collection: In the event that early collection is needed, parents must phone or buzz the school secretary, Arlene, from the porch area at the front entrance of the boys’ school. Your child will be brought out to meet you and the sign-out book must be completed.
First Holy Communion: Our new 3rd class will receive their First Holy Communion on Saturday 26thSeptember. Preparations will begin upon returning to school and further details will be given to parents after consultation with the Dominican Friary church.
I am confident that your child/children will have a great year at school, in spite of the challenges that this year will present. If you have any concerns please contact the school at firstname.lastname@example.org.