Updates to the Covid-19 Response Plan for reopening on March 1st 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.
Sec 5: Infection Prevention Control Measures - To prevent Introduction and Spread of COVID-19 in Schools
Staff and pupils will be advised 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.
Staff and pupils will be advised not to return to or attend school in the event of the following:
Sec 5.3: Hand Hygiene
Staff and pupils will use the 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 sanitizers must not be stored or used near heat or naked flame.
Sec 5.4: Physical Distancing Ventilation
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 2 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.
Sec. 5.5: Use of PPE in Schools
Medical Grade Masks
We will provide medical grade masks in the EN16483 category to all SNAs and teachers in special schools and those staff by necessity that need to be in close and continued proximity with pupils with intimate care need.
Sec 8: Dealing with a Suspected Case of COVID-19
School staff will be encouraged to download the HSE COVID-19 tracker app to assist Public Health for contact tracing purposes both in and out of the school setting.
Sec 9: Staff Duties
Staff will be requested not to return to or attend school in the event of the following:
Undergo any COVID-19 testing that may be required in their school as part of mass or serial testing as advised by Public Health.
Sec 11: Employee Assistance Service Information
Employee Assistance Service:
Freephone Helpline 1800 411 057 or text “Hi” to 0873690010 to avail of EAS support on SMS & WhatsApp.
Appendix 2 Pre-Return to Work Form COVID-19
Appendix 6: Checklist for School Management Staff
Hand / Respiratory Hygiene
Have you told staff and pupils when they need to wash their hands or use hand sanitiser?
Have you checked any mechanical ventilation systems to ensure an adequate supply of fresh air is used.
Appendix 7: Checklist for dealing with a suspected case of COVID-19
A nominated member of the school management team will be responsible for ensuring that all aspects of the protocol to deal with suspected cases have been adhered to.
Appendix 9: Checklist for cleaning
Have you put in place a written cleaning schedule to be made available to cleaning staff including: ¬ Cleaning of frequently touched surfaces such as vending machines, coffee machines and door handles.
The National Educational Psychological Service of the Department of Education, NEPS, has developed an updated series of resources for parents and students during this period of school closures. These build on previous materials that proved popular with parents. They feature important updated wellbeing advice and guidance, and include tips on how students can stay positive, active and connected, and how parents can support their child’s daily routine.
Please see list of links below.
Advice for Parents while Schools are closed
Primary, January 2021
Managing Stress and Anxiety: A Guide for Parents and Guardians
How to Calm and Support your Child: Advice for Parents and Guardians
Blank Plan for the Day
Directory Online Supports - Primary - Update Phase 3
The National Council for Special Education has a range of resources for parents of children with special educational needs, including useful material on a broad list of supportive topics, and short focused video materials designed to provide advice and guidance to parents.
These are available on ncse.ie
The NCSE is also operating a dedicated phone line for parents of children with special educational needs during this period of school closure, offering support and guidance; the number is 01 603 3456 and it is open during office hours.
These uncertain times have led to an understandable disruption to family life, with parents and children spending more time than usual at home, and online. Digital devices are providing many benefits, whether it’s to help children to continue their education through distance learning, using social media to connect with their friends and relatives, or using technology for entertainment.
While all families have their own unique circumstances, many parents have similar concerns when it comes to their child’s use of technology. Here are some tips for parents on how to strike the right balance between online and offline activities, and help their children have a positive relationship with technology, and the internet.
Please visit www.webwise.ie for further information.
Each year, the Friday of Catholic Schools Week is designated as the day when our school community celebrates and pays tribute to grandparents and the role they play in handing on the faith to their grandchildren and in supporting the community of faith at home and in the parish. They bring joy to the lives of their grandchildren and in turn grandchildren can bring real joy to them
Our grandparents are a special gift in our lives. They watch over us as we grow and are often some of the most important teachers in our lives.
Today we are asking you to think about our school as a Community of Love. We especially think of our grandparents. They can be very important teachers who show us how to love, how to be caring and how to share. They can teach us about the past and about the importance of working hard and doing our best. They can teach us through love. In our Catholic school we try to show that love each day in kind thoughts, kind words and kind actions.
This intergenerational love is to be celebrated and cherished, especially this year, where so many children were separated from their grandparents who may have been cocooning. As this pandemic continues to affect our lives it is not possible for grandparents to visit our school as normal. Today it is more important than ever, however, to continue to show our grandparents our gratitude and celebrate all that they do for us.
Today take the time to pray the prayer that Jesus taught us: Our Father
Have fun catching up with your grandparents!
Enjoy the weekend. Stay safe and Stay home!
Stabannon School Staff